through an interesting lava tube.
||From Phoenix take I-17
north to Flagstaff. Follow Highway 180 north out of Flag to mile post
230. Turn left onto Forest Road (FR) 245. Follow 245 3.1 miles
to the end where it intersects with FR 171. Turn left onto 171
(following the sign to Lava River Cave) and follow it 1 mile to FR
171B. Turn left onto 171B (following the sign) and drive 0.5 miles
to the parking area at the end.
Passenger car if the roads are dry
||Easy - if
you get lost here you may want to rethink your speleology career.
||Cool - year
round temps in the tube are 32-40 F. Bring a jacket or sweater for
tube was discovered in 1915. It was formed about 675,000 years ago
when molten lava flowed through the earth creating the tube as the outer
edges cooled and hardened. There is a map at the entrance that
shows a diagram of the tube. It is rather linear with one branch
that meets up with the main passage a short time later. The right
branch is some what smaller and requires some low ducking to get through,
however no crawling is required in the tube (in some places the ceiling is
80 ft. high!). When you hit the dead end, turn around and head out.
This is a good introduction to caving (without all the
crawling and mucking about) and a nice escape from the summer heat.
However, as with any underground excursion extra caution is also
required. Bring three sources of light and spare batteries (it is
pitch black in the tube, and would be difficult to impossible to navigate
without light). The lava tube is wet and rocky, wear boots with good
traction and ankle support. As with caves, the lava tube is a closed
environment, be considerate to those that follow, do not leave trash or
urinate in the tube.
||Coconino National Forest
Favorite Hikes, Flagstaff & Sedona', Cosmic Ray
||Click picture for larger
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