Cave Access

Last updated: 6-13-2022


For the casual visitor to the caves of Central Oregon, we'd recommend a visit to Lava River Cave, South Ice Cave, or Boyd Cave. South Ice Cave and Boyd Cave are open year round, though snow can complicate access to South Ice Cave. We suggest avoiding South Ice Cave from Sept. 15th - April 30th as there are some bats that hibernate there.


Deschutes National Forest Caves:


Lava River Cave

  • Closed from September 15 through April 30 (winter closure), or until the beginning of the open season, whichever is latest.
  • Closed between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. from May 1 to September 14, or after the end of open season, whichever is earliest.
  • The last 300 feet of the west tube (west tube/show cave) is closed.
  • The gated east tube of the cave is closed year-round.
  • Climbing or bouldering of any kind is prohibited.


Skeleton Cave

  • Entering or being in the cave is prohibited year-round.
  • Climbing or bouldering of any kind inside or outside the gate at the cave entrance from September 15 through April 30 is prohibited.
  • Visit Wanderlust Tours for access information.


Hidden Forest Cave

  • Climbing or bouldering of any kind within the cave is prohibited.


Closed year-round

  • Bat Cave
  • Charcoal Cave #1
  • Charlie-the-Cave (both upper and lower chambers)
  • Deg Cave
  • Eternity Cave
  • Infinity Cave
  • Lavacicle Cave
  • Skeleton Cave
  • Wind Cave


Closed from September 15 through April 30 (winter closure)

  • Arnold Ice Cave
  • Lee's Cave
  • Lower Quartz Mountain Cave
  • Skylight Cave


China Hat Caves on BLM and Private Land:

  • Pictograph Cave is closed during bat hibernation periods between October 15 and May 1.
  • Charcoal Cave no. 2 is on private property and access is not allowed. Please respect private property.
  • Stookey Ranch Cave is on private property and gated. Access is restricted. Please respect private property.


Miscellaneous Cave schedules:

  • Redmond Caves - Located in southeast Redmond. The park holds 5 caves: Lions Cave, Redmond Cave, Cave Next Door, Insignificant Redmond Cave, and No Account Redmond Cave. They currently have no closure for bats.
  • Horse Cave - Horse Cave is located on private property near Bend. Please respect private property.
  • Section 11 Caves - These 8 caves (Davenport, Garbage no. 1, Garbage no. 2, Three Pines, Vulture, Stevens, Williams', and Braille) are currently on private property and closed to all visitation. Please respect private property.
  • Malheur Cave - Closed and privately owned. Permission from owner is required to visit. There are open dates each year which can be found by contacting the Burns Masonic Lodge.


For more information, visit the Forest Service's Public Cave Access information page.

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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 Google Group forum, access to the Grotto library, issues of the Oregon Underground newsletter, and information on yearly caving activities and trips.