The Trail of the Molten Lands can be found in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, a stretch of land that was set aside to preserve some of the area's finest natural lava features. One of these volcanic wonders is Lava Butte, and that is exactly where this pawriffic trail, which is just over a mile in length, will lead you and Fido to.
The trail begins at the Lava Lands Visitor Center, where you will find rangers who can help you with navigation. Since the trail, as well as the visitor center, is located so near to Highway 97, this is a relatively well-maintained area. A third of the trail has been recently reconstructed, and features a paved surface that is universally accessible, with the rest of the trail also being paved.
Although this is quite a short trail, there are eleven full-color interpretive signs dotted along the way, and these will teach you and your pooch more about the Lava Butte eruption, as well as what came of it. These signs are fascinating to read, and will give you a whole new appreciation for the lava flow that surrounds you.
The terrain that you will walk through on this trail is almost surreal, with sharp black rocks just about everywhere. While the land around you may be harsh, it is also incredibly beautiful, with wide solidified lava rivers around you, and panoramic vistas of surrounding peaks. There are a few benches dotted strategically along the way, so that you and Fido can really soak up the pawsome views.
The parking area for this trail lies just south-west of the Lava Lands Visitor Center, with a $5 fee per vehicle. The parking area is open throughout the year, even when the visitor center itself is closed from October to May.
This is a truly unique hike, with scenery that you would not find anywhere else. While dogs are welcome to explore this trail with their owners, please make sure that you keep your pooch on a lead at all times, and don't forget to also bring some doggie bags and drinking water with you too.