The Heppe Cave trailhead is located on the road to Mammoth Crater; this short steep, rocky trail leads to a huge lava tube collapse. The trail to the first entrance of the collapsed rock chamber leads to Heppe Ice Caves; during the warmer months a pool of water can be viewed within the cave. This water feature is the largest open body of water within the Lava Beds National Monument. Beyond this pool is the opening to the chamber that leads to the Heppe Chimney Cave located to the west of the collapse. The summer months can be very hot, but the caves are cool. There are no water facilities available on any of the trails; water is freely available at the campgrounds. Before entering the caves within Lava Beds National Monument, a free screening pass for the deadly bat disease White-Nose Syndrome must first be obtained from the Visitor Center or Fee Booth.
The Heppe Cave Trail has a maximum elevation of 5,330 ft (1,625 m), a minimum elevation of 5,257 ft (1,602 m), and an elevation gain of 1,349 ft (411 m) in the [ A to B ] direction.
The following chart shows the total calories that you may expend on the Heppe Cave Trail while hiking in the [ A to B ] and [ B to A ] direction at a typical speed and is based on gross weight (which includes anything carried), the topography, trail length and trail conditions.
|[ A to B ] or [ B to A ]|
|Steps 1||Length 2||Min Ele 3||Max Ele 4|
|996||0.5 mi||5,257 ft||5,330 ft|
|[ A to B ]|
|Time 5||Floors 6||Gain 7||Loss 8|
|12 min||0.0||1,349 ft||1,025 ft|
|[ B to A ]|
|11 min||0.0||1,025 ft||1,349 ft|
The length of the Heppe Cave Trail is 0.5 mi (0.7 km) or 996 steps.
A person in good physical health can hike the Heppe Cave Trail in 12 min in the [ A to B ] direction, and in 11 min in the [ B to A ] direction.
Download free Heppe Cave Trail topo maps and the adjoining quads to plan your hike. These are full-sheet, 7.5 Minute (1:24,000 scale) Lava Beds National Monument topographic maps.
Yes, and it's free! The Heppe Cave Trail is located on the Schonchin Butte topo map. Use the adjoining quadrangle legend to download the map.
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