Diamond Craters Outstanding Natural Area
Burns District | OR
Season Dates: 1/1 - 12/31
Diamond Craters, an Outstanding Natural Area of 17,000 acres, has some of the most diverse basaltic volcanic features in the nation clustered within a small, accessible area. Located in the high desert country about 55 miles southeast of Burns, Oregon, Diamond Craters is really unlike any other place in North America. That is the opinion held by scores of scientists and educators who have visited and studied the area. It has the best and most diverse basaltic volcanic features in the United States and all within a comparatively small and accessible area, one geologist summarized. It consists of a 23 sq mi (60 km sq) area of basaltic lava flows, lava tubes, cinder cones, and maars. The volcanoes are less than 60,000 years old, while some craters may be as recent as 6,000 years -- based on the sedimentation history in the lake-filled Malheur Maar.
from Burns, take State Highway 78 southeast for approximately 2 miles. Turn right onto State Highway 205 and travel south for 46 miles to the Diamond Junction. Turn left at the junction and travel approximately 6 miles to the junction of Lava Bed Road and Happy Valley Road. Turn left onto Lava Bed Road to access Diamond Craters Outstanding Natural Area.