▶️ Lava River Cave timed parking reservations open Thursday

Lava River Cave
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Thursday marks the opening for availability of timed reservation tickets for parking at Lava River Cave. Reservations made Thursday will be for those visiting starting Aug. 1.

The Forest Service announced last week it will implement a timed reservation system for parking in the Lava River Cave parking lot.

The change to a timed reservation system is being made in response to increasing visits to Lava River Cave, over 70,000 per year, that cannot be accommodated with the parking at the cave, according to the Forest Service.

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. 

Starting Thursday, 50% of the timed reservation tickets will be available on a rolling 30-day booking window. The remaining 50% of timed reservation tickets will be available on a 24-hour booking window starting July 31.

From this Thursday through Saturday, reservations will be available for August 1 arrivals. Reservations made on Sunday, July 3 become available for August 2 arrivals, and so on.

RELATED: Destination Oregon: Lava River Cave

The NFS says the goals of the timed reservation systems 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. 

All reservations are made through Recreation.gov and can be made at 7:00 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 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. People can either print the timed reservation ticket or download it to their mobile device to show to the attendant at the site. 

Timed reservations will be for a 90-minute 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. A 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. 

For more information, please contact the Bend-Ft. Rock Ranger District at 541-383-5300. 

The NFS says the goals of the timed reservation systems 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. 

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