Access to Lava River Cave from I-40 / FR171

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ddgrunning
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Access to Lava River Cave from I-40 / FR171

Post by ddgrunning » Jul 09 2018 9:57 am

Anybody traveled FR171 from I-40 to access the Lava River Cave? Looking for intel on road conditions.

I've only accessed the Lava River Cave from the Ft. Valley Road (State Route 180) side.

Thx

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DixieFlyer
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Re: Access to Lava River Cave from I-40 / FR171

Post by DixieFlyer » Jul 09 2018 10:24 am

@ddgrunning
I've gone from Kendrick to the Lava Cave on FR171 and it was fine for a passenger car...I imagine that it is OK from the Lava Cave to I-40, but I can't say for sure

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chumley
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Re: Access to Lava River Cave from I-40 / FR171

Post by chumley » Jul 09 2018 10:52 am

@ddgrunning
It's a reasonably well-maintained dirt road. Monsoon rains can complicate things and leave some ruts and puddles, but when it's dry you should be able to take a sedan there with just an occasional spot where you have to navigate around some rocks or ruts. It isn't as nice as some roads that are nicely graveled and graded and it will be a quicker drive if you have a little extra clearance.
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hikeaz
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Re: Access to Lava River Cave from I-40 / FR171

Post by hikeaz » Jul 09 2018 11:16 am

Even when the road is not at its best it is likely 20 min. quicker (from I-40/I17) than going through Flag & 180 - IF they are not reconstructing the I-10/I-17 Interchange for the 3rd time.
PLUS.... you can visit The Roadhouse with its terrific craft/draft selection!
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nonot
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Re: Access to Lava River Cave from I-40 / FR171

Post by nonot » Jul 10 2018 12:24 am

I believe I have driven that way in the last 3-4 years, and unless it has been raining, I don't remember anything to be particularly concerned about if in a car, it's not super smooth but nothing worrying rock wise, I do seem to recall it gets muddy in the area near the tube during rain.
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Re: Access to Lava River Cave from I-40 / FR171

Post by mazatzal » Jul 10 2018 5:09 pm

I-17N to I-40W was closed last Monday.

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Re: Access to Lava River Cave from I-40 / FR171

Post by The_Eagle » Jul 10 2018 6:52 pm

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
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hikeaz
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Re: Access to Lava River Cave from I-40 / FR171

Post by hikeaz » Jul 10 2018 9:06 pm

Only ADOT could/would turn their map 90 degrees..... :-k
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chumley
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Re: Access to Lava River Cave from I-40 / FR171

Post by chumley » Jul 10 2018 9:40 pm

@hikeaz It’s the kids these days who are used to maps automatically turning the direction they’re going in. A concept I will never understand. But it makes that whole North is up thing irrelevant to them.

It may take some time for me to acknowledge my magnetic privilege to the new generation of cartographers. 🤷🏼‍♂️
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Re: Access to Lava River Cave from I-40 / FR171

Post by Dschur » Jul 11 2018 8:42 am

At approximately 2 p.m. on Monday, July 9, Coconino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, Guardian Medical Transport, and Ponderosa Fire District responded to an injured hiker in the Lava River Caves north of Flagstaff. The 44-year-old male hiker from Cordes Lakes, suffered an ankle injury near the end of the cave and was unable to walk out on his own.
Ponderosa Fire and Guardian Medical personnel hiked in to initiate patient care while Search and Rescue carried a litter and responded with additional personnel to transport the hiker out of the cave. Twenty-three rescue personnel from the three agencies were involved in the operation.
The terrain in the cave as well as the darkness made for a challenging rescue according to a Search and Rescue press release. After an approximately three-and-a-half-hour operation, rescuers were able to get the hiker out at 5:52 p.m. The hiker was transported to Flagstaff Medical Center for treatment of an ankle injury.
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind hikers planning a trip to the Lava River Cave to be prepared for the conditions inside the cave. In addition to total darkness, the ground is rocky and uneven. Temperatures range from 32 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit inside the cave even during the summer. It is recommended that hikers use a headlamp and helmet as well as wear appropriate hiking footwear if they plan on doing the hike.
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