Lava Island Falls

The Deschutes River west of Bend splits around Lava Island. Beautiful lava rock formations from Mount Mazama (Crater Lake) and Mount Newberry eruptions provided shelter used by aboriginals as early as 7,000 years ago. A cache of tools was found hidden in these rockshelters and more recently a bark-lined storage pit.

River 1

The split around Lava Island


Lava Island Falls

Hunters Cave

Rockshelter that aboriginals used to repair tools on seasonal hunting trips, dated as early as 7,000 years ago and more recently 200 years ago.

Tree bridge 2

Down trees connect the main trail to the island.

Lava field

The Carey Act of 1894 created the US Bureau of Reclamation , which in turn initiated the creation of irrigation projects. Beyond the bright colors in the lava rock, there’s an impressive irrigation flume that was pivotal in the production of crops in the early 1900’s.

Lava Cairn

Lava rock cairn

Lava Island Crag

The deep crevices are fascinating to peer into.

Glass river

It’s pretty amazing to me that the River, just a couple hundred feet up the trail was treacherous with falls and rapids, and here is as smooth as glass.


View from the main trail; the whole afternoon was sunny, then cloudy, and rained a little bit, then sunny again, over the course of a few hours. When the sun came back out, the reflection off the water was pretty magnificent. I didn’t do a good job of capturing it (someday I’ll learn how to), but there would be moments walking along the trail and the sun would hit it just perfectly that you have to stop to take a moment and take it in.

Waterfall side Lava field 2 Glass River B&W  Tree bridge 1  Waterfall 2


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