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Boyd Cave: Staircase into the Sagebrush

Field review by the editors.

Bend, Oregon

Boyd Cave is a well-preserved lava tube, roughly a third of a mile long. What makes it unusual is its location -- the middle of a flat, otherwise empty field of Oregon sagebrush -- and its entrance, which is a metal staircase descending into the earth. What's also unusual is that the staircase and cave are open to the public, free, any day of the year, any time of day.

The cave is unlit, except for light coming through the entrance hole, and is a chilly 42 degrees year-round. Because it's a lava tube, Boyd Cave's crusty interior is particularly dark, so bring a backup flashlight in case your first one goes out. Also, it's a wild cave, so don't expect any flat or manmade surfaces. Except for the stairs.

Boyd Cave: Staircase into the Sagebrush

China Hat Rd, Bend, OR
Southeast of the city. US-97 exit 143. Drive east on Knott Rd for 1.5 miles. Turn right just past the white fence onto China Hat Rd. Drive eight miles (If you reach the point where the pavement ends you've driven too far). You'll see a small intersection on the left for a little dirt road, and a tiny brown "Boyd Cave" sign. You can either park there, or drive a quarter-mile to the cave entrance staircase, on the left.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Arnold Ice CavesArnold Ice Caves, Bend, OR - 3 mi.
Lava River Cave: Lava TubeLava River Cave: Lava Tube, Bend, OR - 9 mi.
Last Blockbuster StoreLast Blockbuster Store, Bend, OR - 10 mi.
In the region:
Petersen Rock Garden, Redmond, OR - 19 mi.

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