Flagstaff Lava River Caves: A Subway into Time

The “Tubes”, better known as the Lava River Caves in the San Francisco volcanic field north of Flagstaff, are unique, wondrous, and geologically fascinating.  We will explore the length and breadth of these caves, as well as a pleasant lake in the center of an extinct volcano, while observing the volcanic activity that has been important in shaping Flagstaff and northern Arizona over the past several million years.
Check out The Goat’s Blog for tips, tricks, and specs on hiking the Lava River Caves


Flagstaff Lava Tubes Hiking Information

Distance: <2 miles out-and-back, with optional side explorations
Difficulty:  Easy
Best Season to Hike: Spring to Fall, Winter can be cold and icy
Permits/Gear: None Required for day hiking.  Gear requirements include headlamps, flashlights, and sturdy shoes
What’s the Deal?: The Lava Tubes were created about 1 million years ago, as volcanic activity in the subsurface created the landscape around Flagstaff in the form of the San Francisco Volcanic field.  These tubes are sites where literal rivers of magma surged through the underground and flowed out onto the ground surface.  Today, exploration of these caves is a great, family-friendly activity that is intersting, adventurous, and fun.
More Information:  Call our office at 602-904-2536 for information regarding guides and hiking

How to Get There:  From downtown Flagstaff take HWY 180 9 miles north of Flagstaff on and turn west (left) on FR 245 (at milepost 230). Continue 3 miles to FR171 and turn south 1 mile to where FR 171B turns left a short distance to Lava River Cave. For more information please contact Flagstaff Ranger District at 928-526-0866.

Ready for an Adventure?

Join Blue Marble Adventure GeoTourism on geology-themed hiking and backpacking adventures! Find the perfect Grand Canyon hiking tour, Utah Canyon Country Tour, Vermillion Cliffs Backpacking or hiking.

Explore Further, Be Wild, See Through Time.