Deschutes County is by far the most cave-rich county in the state of Oregon, but not all of those caves are recommended to the casual visitor. Some involve strenuous hikes, proper gear and equipment, or a tenacity for pushing claustrophobic and tight passages.
Our Grotto is an affiliate with the National Speleological Society, and we demonstrate safe caving practices. Typically we bring three sources of light per person, wear a helmet to protect our heads, and we don't go caving alone. We also avoid caves during the winter that have hibernating bats. Although, bat maternity colonies do exist in Central Oregon and we avoid those during the summer months.
Here is a closure schedule for caves with bats:
Hibernation Closures - November 1st to April 15th. Cave entry ceases November 1st and resumes April 15th.
Maternity Closures - April 16th to September 30th. Cave entry ceases April 16th and resumes September 30th.
For the casual visitor to the caves of Central Oregon, we recommend a few. Please note the bat closures for these caves, and avoid them at those times.
China Hat Road Caves - Located off China Hat road southeast of Bend.
Miscellaneous Cave schedules:
For more information, visit the Forest Service's Public Cave Access information page.
The Oregon High Desert Grotto is an internal organization of the National Speleological Society. We are dedicated to the study and preservation of caves.
Membership in the Grotto is $15 a year and comes with an invitation to the Yahoo! Groups forum, access to the Grotto library, issues of the Oregon Underground newsletter, and information on yearly caving activities and trips.
Glacier Cave Explorers: donate here