Lava Beds National Monument, Tulelake

4.7
#99 of 528 in Nature in California
Lava Beds National Monument is located in Tulelake. For travelers who use our world travel planner, Tulelake holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Lava Beds National Monument and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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Lava Beds National Monument Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
284 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We enjoyed our family trip to explore the Lava Beds Caves. We spend the entire day hiking (opening to closing) and exploring many of the caves. We explored 12 of the caves and still did not see them a...  more »
  • What a surprise. We were not expecting caving to be so funny and interesting. The park is well organized and there are many different caves to explore. At the visitor center it is possible to borrow a...  more »
  • If you don't mind camping, this is the place to come. There are a lot of lava tube caves to explore, some really easy, others where you have to climb or crawl. Bring light sources, helmet, knee pads, ...  more »
Google
  • Come ready to see some amazing things. I suggest hiking boots to stabilize your ankles, long pants and long sleeves, heavy duty gloves, and headlamps. Knee pads, helmets (bike helmets are fine) are very helpful also. We have been here a few times and there is so much more to explore. So far, our favorites are Indian Wells Cave (moderate/hard difficulty), and Symbol Bridge (moderate) are just amazing.
  • Lava Beds NM is a unique caving experience. Within the park there are multiple lava tube caves where one can enter and explore. Because they are feet underground, some have constant year-round ice despite high summer temperatures above ground. Structurally, many are long tubes, essentially becoming empty tubes as still flowing lava emptied out onto the landscape. If you like the thought of crawling through dark, cool, volcanic spaces, then this place is amazing. As with any caving, be prepared with a warm layer and 2 sources of light (extra batteries help). Once inside, being volcanic, the rock surfaces all around can be sharp. Helmets are recommended. The best thing about Lava Beds NM is that these are not guided tours. The visitor center provides maps with locations and descriptions of its lava tubes nearby. Then, you're on your own to explore to have fun caving. Some caves might have entrance downward stairs that may make it less handicap accessible. And the interior surface floors are not flat, making a flashlight/headlamp essential for safety. But this is a great place to visit, and to cool down, in hot summer months.
  • This was the perfect adventure for our family. We started at around 10AM and finished around 4PM. Some of the caves were closed for hibernating bats, but there were more than enough available caves for us to see. I have been to other top caves around the US, and these are like nothing I have seen before. Well worth the trip. Bring flashlights, good shoes, water, and pack a lunch if you plan on staying the day to explore. There is not much near by.
  • Fantastic place with lots of interesting caves and hiking trails. We didn't have much time so just visited the lava tube cave that was lit up inside which was pretty neat. Really nice Visitor Center and staff. Make sure you clean your shoes before you enter the caves so you don't bring in diseases that can kill the bats.
  • Such an interesting place. Plenty of places to explore. Every cave has its own environment. Loved the history and information available throughout the entire park. Bring food/snacks and plenty of water. Wish I would’ve bought a souvenir flashlight to commemorate the fun trip.
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