Ovis Cave in Lava Beds National Monument

Ovis Cave is on the cave loop in Lava Beds National Monument, and it is an excellent beginner cave in the park. At a short 216 feet, this cave can be experienced quickly, and it has an entrance and exit, so you don’t have to go back through the cave to get out. The two openings provide a lot of light as well, making it a great way to experience a cave for those in the group that are claustrophobic or don’t want to be in the dark for long. Here is all the information.


  • .75 miles round trip
  • 40 feet of elevation
  • Location: Cave Loop near the Visitor’s Center

Getting There

From the visitor’s center, you will head out on the cave loop one-way road which provides access to the main caves in the park. You will see a sign for Ovis Cave on the first half of the drive, and you can park right next to the sign.

The Trail

From the parking area, you will set out on the trail and follow the sign to get to the cave. You can visit a second, longer cave called Paradise Alley here as well if you have time, so follow the signs to the one you want to see.

Shortly after the sign you will be at the mouth of the cave and can descend into it.

The cave is short, from the entrance you can already see the light of the exit.

It’s an exciting cave though with snow often in the winter and even icicles.

This cave is also where they found 36 bighorn sheep skulls back in the late 1800’s so it may have been used for some type of ritual as well.

After exiting the back of the cave, you will loop around and get back to the main path that will take you back to the car.

Ovis Cave is a short excursion in the park that shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes. Check out more spots to explore in Lava Beds National Monument here.

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