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
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.