We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Lave Beds is a great family spot” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Lava Beds National Monument

Lava Beds National Monument
Tulelake, CA
Website
Improve this listing
Ranked #1 of 5 attractions in Tulelake
Type: Caverns/ Caves, Geologic Formations, Monuments/ Statues
Activities: Viewing wildlife
Attraction Details
Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
29 attraction reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Lave Beds is a great family spot”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

The caves hold historical secrets, the area shares it's volcanic past, and proximity to a wildlife refuge makes this a bonus location and convenient spot to see all manner of wildlife, geology and serene scenery. Though stifling hot in summer, I recommend fall-spring trips here because they are prime times to see the wildlife, enjoy cooler temperatures and better enjoy the surrounding area's geologic wonders. Bring a few guide books on wildflowers, birds and geology. Definitely make a stop at the well-outfitted visitor center and remember this is site is part of the National Park system where all appropriate rules of plant/rock/life respect apply.
For anyone who enjoys high desert environments, you will find this location especially rewarding. Camping is somewhat limited so arrive early or mid-week for best chances for prime spots. All sites are pretty much east facing so you can enjoy the sunrise. And, yes, it is a desert so take necessary precautions that you would take in such places: water, emergency supplies, water, good shoes, water and common sense

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

108 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    71
    32
    4
    0
    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
CT
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Awesome place!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013 via mobile

There were hardly any people here when we went. It we almost like we had the park to ourselves. Made it really special. Given we went the Monday before Memorial Day weekend, but it was still quiet. It was hot and I can only imagine how warm it gets here during the summer as this was only May. It's no wonder sunscreen is sold in the visitor's center.

We did Skull Cave, Big Painted Cave and Symbol Bridge. They were the easier ones and although we didn't have trouble with them I could see some people having trouble with them. The pictoglyphs were really cool to see. The hiking trails are beautiful. We also hiked to black crater and the battlefield. I would definitely recommend getting here if you want to get to a national monument that is off the beaten path.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eureka, California
Top Contributor
94 reviews 94 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Nice Uncrowded Park”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

We spent a full day hiking and caving in Lava Beds National Monument in early May. Its was uncrowded and in most of the caves my girlfriend and I were the only people. There are probably more than 2 dozen easily reachable caves broken down into three categories of difficulty w/in a 10 minute drive from the visitor's center. We "explored" 10 of them in one day and each one offered something a little different and exciting. If you go visit the LBNM website and follow their suggestions for the clothing and gear you should bring...it will make for a much nice experience.
Be sure and bring a day pack w/ snack and plenty of water as there is no restaurant or cafe in the Park (although the visitor center does have a few snacks for sale).

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kennewick, Washington
Top Contributor
276 reviews 276 reviews
66 attraction reviews
Reviews in 98 cities Reviews in 98 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
“Desolate, beautiful and uncrowded”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

Lots of lovely hikes, lave tubes (caves) and history await you. Bring cash as credit cards and debit cards are not accepted for the entrance fee or gift shop. Pack a picnic too. There are no restaurants here but some nice picnic areas and a campground. There is a small visitor center and gift shop. I would go late spring or late fall. I suspect the summers are hot. Visit the National Monuments homepage for details to plan your trip and get background information. Food and lodging is several miles outside of the Monument in little towns nearby. We stayed at the Winema Lodge just outside the park, which was convenient, fun and different. (Check out separate reviews) Be sure to bring headlamps and gloves are nice.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“The Devil's Backbone”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2013

We stopped because my husband had just finished Terry C Johnson's book, The Devil's Backbone about the MODOC war. The landscape, caves and history are fascinating. We did not have enough time and will return next year.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Lava Beds National Monument also viewed

 

Been to Lava Beds National Monument? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Lava Beds National Monument, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.

Bookmark for later
Save Saved
You added Lava Beds National Monument to your Saves list