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Lava Beds National Monument, Tulelake

(4.8/5 based on 240+ reviews on the web)
Lava Beds National Monument is located in northeastern California, in Siskiyou and Modoc counties. The Monument lies on the northeastern flank of the Medicine Lake Volcano, and has the largest total area covered by a volcano in the Cascade Range.The region in and around Lava Beds Monument lies at the junction of the Sierra-Klamath, Cascade, and the Great Basin physiographic provinces. The Monument was established as a United States National Monument on November 21, 1925, and includes more than 46000acre.Lava Beds National Monument has numerous lava tube caves, with twenty-five having marked entrances and developed trails for public access and exploration. The monument also offers trails through the high Great Basin xeric shrubland desert landscape and the volcanic field. 1872-1873, this area was the site of the Modoc War, with a band led by Kintpuash (also known as Captain Jack). The area of Captain Jack's Stronghold was named in his honor.Geologic formationsLava Beds National Monument is geologically outstanding because of its great variety of "textbook" volcanic formations, including lava tube caves, fumaroles, cinder cones, spatter cones, pit craters, hornitos, maars, lava flows, and volcanic fields.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • 4 of us went on a snowy day and had so much fun. Some of the caves we explored were very icy and it made for some tricky cave time but we made it safely. I highly recommend very sturdy shoes and brigh...  more »
  • This place is very underrated and I hesitated about reviewing it for fear it becomes popular. We stayed here in mid-autumn 2016, camping for about a week. The campground is nice, both areas. There's w...  more »
  • My family and I had a great time at Lava Beds National Monument in November. I have two boys. 8 and 11. The weather was sunny and cool and the crowds were almost nonexistent. We were able to climb int...  more »
Google
  • One of the best National Parks I've ever been to. I'd like to go back sometime without small children so I can explore more of the challenging caves and not be limited to only the easy ones. That said, what a cool place. It's pockmarked with deep lava-tube caves, some absolutely huge (Skull Cave was one of the most impressive things I've seen in a long time). We saw well outfitted folks with ropes and helmets going exploring, and we heard that if you discover a previously unmapped cave you get to name it!
  • See the wonders of nature as if they happened yesterday. At the Lava Beds you can explore a small cave or you can go into the ones that are up to a mile long. Take time to look at the formations and also be careful when you step on the ice. Have fun and enjoy your visit. Don't forget a flash light and in winter a cup of coffee.
  • I love walking/crawling through caves, so I could have spent several days here. It's nice that you can explore them without a guide. The Golden Dome trail was really cool looking and interesting to know that it's caused by bacteria. Bring your own flashlight. The ones that they loan out looked bulky and heavy. There's also nice trails above ground, if caving isn't for you. This was one of the most fun National Monuments I've visited.
  • I took my parents to Lava Beds National Monument. My dad and I did a lot of Caves Explorer. There are easy, moderate challenging and challenging etc 3 stages. So everyone can pick up preferrable level and try it out. Bringing Helmet and headlamp or flashlight. If you don't have those, you can rent these gear at the visitor center. So no worry.
  • We toured several of the easy caves-one by the visitor center and 2 others. They all had stairs or easy entrances. The terrain can be uneven so a walking stick is helpful. You can borrow a flashlight from the visitor center but better to bring your own. There are many caves they require more skill or duck walking/crawling although we didn't explore those. There were many butterflies when we were there. Well worth the trip.