Into the Lava Tubes

Just outside Flagstaff if you are heading towards Snowbowl you can find the Lave tubes. So is it worth it to head into the tubes?

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I did this hike in a dress and boots -and I made it, but i don’t recommend anyone else trying it that way! I managed to get by without any more than a few scrapes and I had a sweater so I stayed warm enough but I would recommend wearing long pants for this hike. The entrance is the hardest part, so don’t let that scare you out of going in the rest of the way because after you climb down and really get into the cave the ground evens out and does not get as difficult again. Bring a sweater and a headlamp – I had a hand held flashlight and i was wishing for a headlamp several times.


If it’s possible find a spot and stand there until everyone else passes you then turn everything off. The total darkness and silence is an experience everyone should have, a totally quiet and serene moment can be a little scary but is also a unique sensory experience, there are not many places that don’t even have background noise. I also recommend not getting so wrapped up in the hike that you forget to look around,  pause often and shine a light around you the scenery in the tubes is really neat but since it is so dark it is really easy to miss out on seeing much more than what is right in front of you.

Map the drive out before you go, the entrance tends to be hard to find as it is not very clearly marked – if you get lost keep trying the drive is pretty enough on it’s own that you won’t be upset if you have to drive around a little. The road leading to the lava tubes looks like a Hollywood backdrop if the day is clear, the line of sight is so straight and clear that the scenery almost looks fake.

3 thoughts on “Into the Lava Tubes”

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