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Big Lava Bed

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Western edge of the Big Lava Bed from the Pacific Crest Trail (bobcat)
View to Little Huckleberry Mt. and Mt. Adams over the Big Lava Bed, Grassy Knoll Trail bobcat)


The Big Lava Bed is one of the most impressive volcanic features in the southern Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The lava flows originated from an unnamed cinder cone in the north-central section of the flows about 8,200 years ago. It is part of the Indian Heaven volcanic field and was that field's most recent eruptive event. The lava bed has been colonized by conifers, primarily lodgepole pine but also noble fir, ponderosa pine, and mountain hemlock.

There are forest roads along the northwestern and eastern boundaries of the 100,000 cubic yard field. There are no trails inside the lava flow. The Pacific Crest Trail runs up the western boundary, north from Big Huckleberry Mountain. Picking a route into the flow is tricky and compasses do not always operate accurately due to the magnetic properties of the rock.

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Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

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