Adventure Into Oregon's Best Caves

33andfree

Have you ever explored a cave before? It was something that took a lot for me to try out. Climb down underground into the darkness. No thanks. Our first cave we checked out was actually in Arizona and I actually had a good time. There were a lot of people so somehow that made me feel safe. Then once we got to Oregon, we read about how many caves there were, which in Deschutes National Forest along there are about 700 and set out to explore as many as we could.

Many of these caves are being damaged by tourists and locals alike. Not just the caves but the vegetation around them that the forest and local animals depend on. Please practice LEAVE NO TRACE and if there is a sign saying closed, it's closed. If there is a sign saying stay on the trail, then stay on the trail.

Oregon's Best Caves to Explore!

Most of the caves are within Central Oregon, but one ventures a bit west and it is worth it if you are in the area. It is also the only one that comes with a hike to get to which makes it one of the most unique caves to visit. There are two types of caves in Oregon. The tube cave. Longer caves under ground that are formed from flowing water through lava . The other, is what most people think of caves. One large opening to see in and see out of but not deep. Almost more like a bear den.

Boyd Cave

This is a short lava cave in Central Oregon, but one of the most picturesque because of the light that can get it near the entrance. This one isn't long, but still remember your headlight.

Hidden Forest

Hidden forest cave is a short hike from the parking lot. It takes a bit of search to find it but look for the sunken ground and you will find this fun cave.

Bocca Cave

This is the only cave that you actually have a decent hike to. Located high up in the mountains, if you find this cave, you will find a beautiful view of nearby Mt. Jefferson. Currently this cave is closed due to a previous wild fire, but it will open again and when it does it is a must do.

Skylight Cave

This cave closes from September 15-April 30 for bat hibernation. Which actually would be the worst months to go to the cave for the one shot at seeing the beautiful skylights. June at solstice and July are the best, but August is great too.

CAVE CLOSURES: Please be aware if there are cave closures for protection of the bat population. The following caves are closed September 15-April 30:

Arnold Ice, Lee's, Lower Quartz Mountain, and Skylight caves

ILLEGAL CAVE ACTIVITIES: Vandalism and graffiti are illegal activities in the caves. There are also NO FIRES at any time. Please LEAVE NO TRACE. Pack in, then pack it out. Especially your dog's poop. Your dog's poo, is your poo. Pick it up.Please respect these rules and practice common decency.

A few more caves that are worthy of a little exploration

Skeleton Cave

Derrick Cave

Arnold Cave

Lava River Cave

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We became full time RVers in 2016 to explore the US. Now roaming in a van we highlight hikes, road trip attractions and free camping.

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