Timed reservations tickets for Lava River Cave open for reservations starting Wednesday, April 5, for the 2023 season, according to the Deschutes National Forest
Next week, 50% of the Lava River Cave timed reservation tickets will be available on Recreation.gov on a rolling 30-day booking window. The remaining 50% of timed reservation tickets will be available on a 24-hour booking window beginning May 4.
Timed reservations will be for a two-hour entry block each day Lava River Cave is open.
Every day there will be 14 daily entry blocks with a new entry block opening every 30 minutes. If there are available tickets on any day, people at the site without a timed reservation will be able to make a reservation through Recreation.gov that day.
DNF tells us timed reservation covers everyone in a vehicle, there is no per person charge. In addition, if visitors bike or walk to the site, they do not need a timed reservation.
All reservations are made through Recreation.gov and can be made at 7 A.M. each day.
Timed reservation tickets are free; however, Recreation.gov charges a $2 service fee per transaction for processing the reservation. Reservations also can be made by calling Recreation.gov at 1-877-444-6777.
The Recreation.gov call center is open daily from 7 A.M. to 9 P.M. PST. People can either print the timed reservation ticket or download it to their mobile device to show to the attendant at the site.
The change to a timed reservation system was made last summer in response to increasing visits to Lava River Cave, over 70,000 per year, that DNF cannot accommodate with the parking at the cave. In recent years, visitors have been parking along the roadways outside of the cave while waiting for a parking space to open causing serious and increasing safety concerns for the public and the staff at the site.
The goals of the timed reservation system are to increase public safety, reduce public frustration from waiting in line for unknown periods of time before getting into the site and to spread out visits to the site to make the experience more enjoyable to visitors, according to DNF.
For more information, please contact the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District at 541-383-5300.