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Big Lava Lake

Contact Info
Deschutes National Forest
63095 Deschutes Market Road
Bend, OR 97701

350 acres / .5 sq. miles
Max. Depth:
30 feet
4790 feet


Lava Lake was formed as a result of lava flows creating a dam along its east shoreline. Lava Lake is relatively old as evidenced by the extrusive vegetation occurring in the shallow areas. Rushes, waterlilies and other emergent plants are especially evident on the west and northern perimeter. Another indication of the lake’s aging is the 4 to 5 feet deep layer of muck located on the lake bottom as reported by divers.

Subsurface springs provide the primary inflow to Lava Lake. The springs are located in the northeast corner of the lake at a depth of 20 to 30 feet. Water temperatures from the inflow vary between 45° to 60° F. There are no permanent surface streams entering the lake, however, intermittent seeps do enter the lake from Wire Meadow. Lava Lake connects with Little Lava Lake only occasionally during periods of spring high water. The outlet channel is located in the southeast corner of the lake. Water level fluctuates an average of approximately 2.5 feet annually with maximum pool occurring in late summer. Timing of the peak pool level is consistent with flow levels typical of springs in the area.

Fish species indigenous to Lava Lake were bull trout, redband trout and whitefish. The current fish population is composed of introduced brook and rainbow trout, whitefish, and illegally introduced tui chub.


Brook Trout
Rainbow Trout
Fishing Methods:
Floating Devices,Trolling


350 acres / .5 sq. miles
Max. Depth:
30 feet
Water Access:
Lava Lake Campground and the Resort
Camping Info
Lava Lake Campground
Additional Details:

Bait/Lure Fishing Methods : Cheese, power bait, flat fish, flashers, spinners, and green lures


Map + Directions

Basic Directions

Lava Lake is 15 miles south of Bend off of Forest Service Road 46 (Cascade Lakes Highway).

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