Lava River Cave

Flagstaff, AZ

5 (5 reviews)

Where are we going?

Address: 1824 S. Thompson St, Flagstaff, AZ 86001, USA How do we get there? Number: 928 527 3600
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About this activity

Have you ever wanted to go UNDERGROUND for your next family day out? Well, just head to Flagstaff, Arizona, and you can enjoy a pretty adventurous experience at the Lava River Cave!

Lava River Cave is a mile-long lava tube cave that was actually formed around 700,000 years ago - pretty cool isn't it! It's not just an adventure, because kids can learn about geology too as they hear all about how the cave was created by molten rock that was erupted from a volcanic vent nearby!

The insides of the lava river kept flowing, creating the cave that you know today. Watch out for those great pieces of evidence of the caves formation, including the small wave-like undulations in the floor, which are the remains of ripples that were frozen during the last trickles of molten rock flowing through the cave. 

Make sure you look up too, because the ceiling of the Lava River Cave houses stone icicles hanging, which are remains of the explosion. Pretty cool huh?

Lava River Cave is open year round, but the cave can get pretty cool so dress well, and if you really want to extend your family day out in Flagstaff, there is camping nearby too!

It's a family day out with a difference, and great for those little explorers who want something different. Great to keep them active too!

So what are you waiting for kids, your underground adventure awaits!

Activity location


You will find Lava River Cave 14 miles north of Flagstaff. It should take around 45 minutes from Flagstaff.

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Lava River Cave FAQ’s

It's a good idea to take a back pack with snacks and water in them, to keep that energy up!

Dress appropriately when you visit, with sturdy shoes and warm clothes. It can be even 42 in summer! Make sure you bring sources of light too, as it can be pretty dark even with just the one source

Make sure you take great healthy snacks with you for that good energy

There are rocks, some ice, and uneven terrains so be careful and use discretion as to the accessibility for your situation

Though the Lava River Cave is open year-round, FR 245 and/or FR171 may be closed in the winter for resource protection. In those cases, you will need to hike or ski in to the cave.

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