The Lava Lands National Monument, located only 15 minutes from Bend, is a worth-it destination run, with multiple road and trail options and truly unique terrain. Park at the Lava Lands Visitor Center, pick up a brochure, and enjoy these running highlights, several of which can be combined. Note: entry fee required.
Trail of the Molten Land. A must run! A 1-mile loop on a paved path meandering across a basalt lava flow to a viewpoint. Hilly! Combine with the 0.3 mile Trail of the Whispering Pines.
Lava Butte. For some great hill work with a rewarding view, run to the top of Lava Butte. It’s 3.2 miles out and back, with a 558-foot gain. From the parking lot, follow the paved road, and then climb the hill to the rim. Great views of the Cascades and Newberry Caldera. At the top, there’s a 1/4-mile trail around the rim. Note: A shuttle bus runs from 10am-4:00 pm, but the gate is open to pedestrians at all times.
Sun-Lava Trail. A 5.3 mile paved multi-use path runs all the way to Sunriver. Popular with cyclists. Mix of forested sections, views of the Deschutes River, Benham Falls. Distances from the Visitor Center:
- Benham East Trailhead: 3.8 miles
- Benham Falls Overlook: 4.4 miles
- Sunriver: 5.3 miles
Deschutes River Trail. This is more of a trail run, with some roots, rocks, and narrower sections. Up to 10 miles, some sections right along the river, passing several falls.
- Depends on trail chosen.
- Trail of Molten Land is rolling hills; Lava Butte climbs 500+ feet.
- Parking area/Visitor Center
- Large parking area