St. Helens Lavatubes

Lavatubes of the Mount St. Helens Region

Geology of Lavatubes

Geology of Lavatubes: Instant caves from liquid rock.

Biology of Lavatubes

Biology of Lavatubes: The Rock Eaters and other Extremophiles.

The Caves of Mars

Extraterrestrial Caves: The ET Underground and the search for life.

Mt. St. Helens from the South, near Amboy. Photo by G. Frederick

Departure: Oregon Convention Center, Field Trip Check-In Desk, Holladay Lobby, Holladay Street Entrance. Trip departs promptly at 8:00 am.
Special Instructions: The temperature of the caves stays in the mid-40s (f) so do wear warm clothing. Bringing sturdy hiking boots, knee pads and gloves might also be a good idea. if you own your own helmet and light please bring it. We will provide some additional ones for those who don't own such equipment. For photography, bring a flash-equipped camera and tripod if desired for open-flash images.

Adobe Acrobat Download the Itinerary

LoowitThe Story of Loowit

The Nisqually Legend of the Beautiful Fire Keeper

Dear Lavatube Afficionado,

The GSA 2009 field trip, 421 - "Lavatubes of the Mount St. Helens Region" took place on October 17th, 2009. Participants were able to observe several examples of the large number of lavatubes located in the vicinity of this famous volcanic region and thus gained a taste of the wonders to be found in lavatubes all over the world. The trip was very popular and 41 people participated in the events.

The diverse group was composed of many experienced lavatube cavers and scientists and people who had never been in a cave before. Various aspects of the geology, microbiology, and mineralogy of lavatubes and their extraterrestrial occurrences were discussed through the day and an open interchange of information and ideas made the trip both relaxed and stimulating.

And on a sad note, Dr. Anton Brown, one of the participants on the field trip, passed away the following Monday at GSA. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Penny Boston
Gus Frederick


Lavatubes: Instant caves from liquid rock.


The Rock Eaters and other Extremophiles.


The ongoing search for life in the universe.