The monument also boasts the longest lava tube in the state of Oregon. Lava River Cave located northwest of the caldera is nearly a mile long and crosses under Highway 97. The cool tube produced many obsidian flakes, and was a former Native American arrowhead knapping site. Other features of the cave are Echo Hall, that is a 300 square foot smooth-walled chamber, and the Sand Garden, with sculpted sand spires and monuments. Lanterns can be rented for $5.
The most lucrative feature drawing attention to the area, however, isn’t on the surface. The Newberry caldera is also a geothermal site. There is a partnership between Davenport Power of Conneticut and AltaRock Energy of California and the Bureau of Land Management to utilize this potential energy to power homes and businesses with clean, renewable energy comparable in price to power from a coal-fired plant.
“The exploration phase takes years sometimes decades because it is time-consuming, costly (need investors) and you must continually re-assess the scientific data. It is difficult to pinpoint the subsurface resource since you can not see where the resource is at on Newberry Volcano,” according to Gregory McClarren with the Davenport Newberry Project.
However, McClarren also added that “power supplied from geothermal is base-load, meaning it is stable and predictable e.g. 95+ percent of the time unlike wind and solar.”