Exploring the Lava River Cave in Northern Arizona

- Located about 14 miles north of Flagstaff in the Coconino Forest is the Lava River Cave.

Visitors come to explore the nearly mile-long cave that was formed more than 700,000 years ago. There is no other place like it in Arizona, so we decided to explore.

"Right now we are at the entrance of the cave and they give you a couple of pointers before you go in," Reporter Ty Brennan said. "Of course, have a few flashlights, so I've go my head lamp here."

At the entrance of the cave, the jagged rocks with the dusting of snow can make it a bit difficult to traverse. One you get in down a ways, it slowly starts to open up.

Geologists believe the cave was formed by molten rock that erupted from a volcanic vent near the Hart Prairie. The tops, sides and bottom of the flow cooled and solidified, while lava in the middle flowed out, leaving a hollow space to form the cave.

When you visit, you need to come prepared with sturdy shoes, warm clothes and multiple light sources.

The cave is open year-round, however, the road to the cave may be closed in the winter and if you don't like being in closed spaces, you may want to think twice.

The Lava Tube Caves are a fun way to explore a unique Northern Arizona location.

 


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