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Lava Butte, OR | Sep-2012

K7ATN's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Decent, workable
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Good, very usable
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Good digi echos

Lava Butte is an easy and fun four pointer if you are ever in Central Oregon. It is a drive-up summit part of the year. There is a sometimes staffed lookout at the top and enough room for operating and most any antenna. Since it is a popular spot, you could get plenty of questions about ham radio when it is busy.

 Lava Butte is part of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument and is about 11 miles south of downtown Bend on the west side of Highway 97.There is an admission charge for the Monument or you can use a Northwest Forest Pass.

You can also park on the shoulder of southbound Highway 97 and walk up the road - this is the way to go when the Monument is not open. Park on the wide shoulder just before mile marker 149. The summit road is a short 20 feet to the east. It's about one mile and 500 feet elevation gain. 

Because there is a very small parking lot at the summit (ten spaces) sometimes they run a shuttle to the top, or ask those that drive to limit their time at the summit.

The lower floor of the "Lookout" has an interpretive display inside - the door is left unlocked and so the display area is available for operating in less than ideal weather.

If the monument is "closed" you can park on the southbound Highway 97 shoulder (very wide) right by the marker for milepost 149. From here you cross over to NF-100 and walk the mile on the road to the summit. There is no trail. 


Lava Butte Lookout
Lava Butte summit
Lava Butte - Highway 97 parking