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Flagstaff Lava River Cave
Lava Tubes - Northern AZ

Flagstaff lava tubes (river cave) QR Code
GPS Coordinates:
N 35° 20' 32"
W 111° 50' 07"




Approximately nineteen miles (+/- 45 minutes) from city hall in downtown Flagstaff, AZ, the lava river tube is an unusual cave in that the entry is a great hole in the ground and not a great (door) opening like other caves.

The cave is about 3/4 mile long and there is only one way in and one way out.

There are man-made steps out of lava rocks for visitors to enter, so entrance is not as hard as it may seem


The Northern Arizona Lava River Cave opening
(Flagstaff, AZ - image from the outside of cave)

A descriptive map of the area

Click here for descriptive
maps of the area

A map of the forest area

Click here for a map with
forest details and GPS info

Click here for printer
friendly directions

A picture looking out from the inside of the lava cave

Click here for a picture inside
the lava river cave (lava tube)

The IP Home page: Click here for your area forecast.

Local time & weather for
Flagstaff, Arizona - USA

Learn about how lava caves are formed here Learn how lava river caves
are formed. Click here

A monsoon over Flagstaff, AZ - 1998

Click here to view pictures
of Flagstaff, Arizona and the
surrounding areas

Flagstaff lava tubes (lava river cave) history

Below are two webcams of the Flagstaff area

Northern Arizona University (NAU) Walkup Dome webcam

An up-to-the-minute image of the Flagstaff, Arizona area through this webcam



Be sure to consider the following:

  • No facilities for 15+ miles in every direction (40+ mins away)
  • No rest rooms
  • No food service
  • No gas stations
  • No medical help
  • No cell phone reception
  • Some rocks are sharp and slippery
  • Operated by the Flagstaff Ranger District - (928) 526-0866
  • Open year-round (expect snow in winter)
  • Travel time from Flagstaff approx. 45 minutes
  • Dirt road access
  • Overnight camping permitted beginning 1 mile away from cave
  • Difficulty level: Easy to intermediate
  • Please pack out everything you pack in (no trash cans)
  • Limited parking
  • There is only one way in and one way out
  • The cave is roughly 3/4 of a mile long and will take the average group about 20-30 minutes to get to the end (60 minutes round trip without stopping)
  • Expect  to duck in some parts of the cave
  • Pets are to be on a leash at all times
  • No wheel chair access
  • Report anyone defacing the cave immediately - (928) 526-0866
  • Coconino County National Forest official web page


  • Flashlight for everyone going + one extra (just in case)
  • Closed hard-sole sturdy shoes for everyone (no sandals)
  • Water (not soda, coffee, alcohol--water!)
  • Warm clothes (35° to 45° Fahrenheit inside cave year round)
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Plenty of gas in vehicle
  • Travel food
  • Camera


Directions to the Flagstaff
Lava River Cave (Lava Tubes):

Printer friendly directions
Click here for printer friendly directions

From Interstate 17

  • Take the Milton Rd. Exit North (toward peaks).  Follow signs to Hwy 180. 
  • Turn North toward peaks (which is left) on Humphreys St. 
  • Then follow the directions below titled "From downtown."

From Interstate 40

  • Take the E. Butler Ave. Exit and turn West. 
  • Turn right (North toward the peaks) on San Francisco St. 
  • Turn left (West) on Route 66 (a.k.a. W. Santa Fe Avenue). 
  • Then follow the directions below titled "From downtown."

From Route 66

  • Take route 66 toward the Flagstaff downtown area
  • Then follow the directions below titled "From downtown."


From downtown

  • GPS Coordinates for the parking lot of the Flagstaff Lava Tubes
  • Head North (toward the peaks) on "Humphreys St." (which is Hwy. 180). 
  • Take Humphreys St. almost to the end and turn left at "Fort Valley Rd." to stay on HWY 180. NOTE: If you turn left, it's "Fort Valley Rd. If you turn right, it's W. Columbus Ave. You'll be heading toward the Grand Canyon (keep your eyes pealed for the signs).
  • Take "Fort Valley Rd." approximately 13.7 miles to 100 feet just past mile marker number "230." 
  • At this point, set your vehicle's odometer to zero (You will refer to this spot as your point of reference later).
  • Turn left at forest service road (fire road) #245.
  • Take that dirt road (which is regularly maintained in non-winter months) for 2.8 miles.
  • Then, make a left at the end of the road (the "T"). Take that dirt road for 1.1 miles.
  • When your odometer reads 3.9 miles from the point of reference, turn left (you should see a sign - as of Winter 2004).
  • Take this road for 0.2 of a mile to the parking spots where your final odometer reading should be 4.1 miles from Hwy 180 (the point of reference).


Lava river cave (lava tubes) - Flagstaff, AZ



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