One of the things I love to do is hunt for and explore lava tube caves. I’m not certain which one I like best as they both are unique unto themselves and offer different experiences. I am very fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest as there are literally hundreds of lava tube caves within a couple hours from my house. Here’s a list of my caving videos on YouTube.
Exploring Lake Cave in Gifford Pinchot National Forest
During the rainy season in the Pacific Northwest, Lake Cave has a narrow stream running down the middle of it to a “lake” at the end of the lava tube. In the summertime the stream and lake dry up. There is a lot of breakdown to climb over and around. At the beginning of the cave, you have to walk across an uneven rock ledge and then climb down a 15′ ladder to enter the lava tube.
Exploring Big Lava Bed in Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Sometimes I like to just get out and explore without any agenda or goals in mind. I’m planning on getting out to Big Lava Bed again this summer to explore around the cinder cone volcano that is responsible for the local lava bed in the area.
Searching for Big Cave near Trout Lake, WA
Big Cave is located at one end of a long lava trench. This is one of my tips for finding lava tube caves. Check the ends of a lava trench for cave entrances. The reason we do this is because a lava trench is a segment of a lava tube that has collapsed. When the molten lava exited this lava tube, the newly formed rock ceiling wasn’t strong enough to support its weight. This caused the segment to collapse leaving behind it a trench of basaltic rock. Since this lava trench represents just a segment of a lava tube, there has to have been a lava tube uphill at the beginning of the lava trench and a lava tube downhill at the end of the trench. The only question that remains is… is there an entrance to the uncollapsed segments of the lava tube at either end of the lava trench?
Exploring Big Cave with the Dead Canary Cavers
The Dead Canary Cavers are a bunch of caving nerds based out of Mollala, OR. We typically get together to go caving a few times each summer. You’re invited to join us on one of our upcoming caving outings. Just contact me here or the Dead Canary Cavers on Facebook.
Exploring Falls Creek Cave
I love Falls Creek Cave. With it’s unique entrance and side passage, this is a fun lava tube cave to explore. Be careful of the deep pit at the end of the cave. It looks like it might be another lava tube but I am not certain. On your way out, be sure to get a photo of the entrance from inside of Falls Creek Cave looking out. The green from the mossy rocks just inside the cave reflect off the walls of the cave creating a very, cool photo opportunity.