Pluto’s Cave was formed by an eruption of basaltic lava which came from a vent approx. 8 miles northeast between Deer Mountain and The Whaleback. Today it is a lava tube and without a permit you can hike about 1200 feet into the cave. Make sure you dress warmly, wear proper shoes, bring flashlights and dispose of trash properly because there are no garbage services. Also, no food or drink can be brought inside the cave and there is nowhere to obtain water so plan accordingly and throw out your trash beforehand. No pets and no camping inside Pluto’s cave. Make sure there are no fires, torches or smoking in the cave!
Distance: 1 mile
Elevation Gain: 0 ft.
Route Type: Out & Back
Directions:From I-5 in Weed, CA travel northwest on US Hwy 97 approx 7 miles to County Road A-12. Turn left and go approx 3.3 miles to Forest Road 43N30. Turn left go approx .2 mile to the parking area.
Highlights: Great cave views; Interesting, volcanic, high desert terrain
Photo Credit: USDA – Pluto’s Cave Website