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“Another surprise”

Lava Beds National Monument
Ranked #1 of 7 things to do in Tulelake
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Medford, Oregon
Level 5 Contributor
62 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Another surprise”
Reviewed October 11, 2013

We were really surprised at how much there was to see. There were so many caves to explore. Take really good flash lights. The visitors center will let you borrow them for free which surprised me but you had to have them back by 4:30. The views from the campgrounds were so beautiful. The campground itself was OK if you like being on top of one another. The fee was only $10. per night. Luckily we were there in the fall when most people weren't camping anymore. Make sure to go to the visitors center first and do the bat screening. Once we asked what it was about we found out how important it was. They ask a few questions and then depending upon if you have been in caves back east you will need to have your camera wiped down and your shoes. Millions of bats are dying from a disease. There was so much history about the Modoc Indian wars we didn't know about.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank queensusie1227
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Weed, California
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Great Attractions at Lava Beds National Monument”
Reviewed September 29, 2013

We had a good time at the Lave Beds National Monument. My favorite cave was Skull Cave which had easy access in compared to a lot of the caves here. Go to the Visitor Center first and they will explain to you the fungus problem they are having with the bats there and they will also give you a pamphlet on the easy, medium and difficult caves in the park. Lots of places to picnic and rest rooms are readily available throughout the park, our favorite place to picnic was at Fleener Chimneys. We also liked the short hike through Captain Jacks Stronghold but make sure you wear sturdy shoes because some of the areas on this hike are pretty difficult to get through if you are not an experienced hiker which we aren't. Take the time to learn about the Modoc Wars and Captain Jack because I found this event of our history particularly interesting. There are also easy hikes around the Hidden Valley and Mammoth Crater at the SW end of the park, nobody else was around when we hiked around these areas.

If you have the time and a 4WD vehicle, go south to Medicine Lake, Glass Mountain, Bullseye Lake and the drive down narrow Medicine Lake Road to Bartle, it is really beautiful down that remote road. Make sure you have full tanks because there are no services in this area.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank CaliPaula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reno, Nevada, United States
Level 6 Contributor
47 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Caves! Lava! Bats! Petroglyphs!”
Reviewed September 24, 2013

This place is fascinating. We only gave ourselves a couple of hours here and we left planning a weekend-long camping trip. There is so much to see and do here!
We only had time to do one cave. We did the chocolate cave. It was so beautiful, cool, crazy, and lots of fun. We wished we could do a few more. Chocolate cave has big caverns in it, covered in glittery gold bacteria. Where there isn't bacteria, the walls look like melting chocolate turned to stone. It is easy to imagine the lava flowing through and leaving the tube behind. It inspired our imaginations.
The visitor center is small but super helpful and informative. The rangers are great at recommending where you should start, what you should do and how you can do it safely. Also, because of disease ravaging bats on the East Coast, the park wants you to stop there first to make sure visitors are not endangering bats. They gave us a permit to put in our windshield so rangers would know we were cleared for using the caves. There are books available for public reading and a museum with information about the natural history, the geology, and the various people who have lived and fought in Lava Beds. We bought hard hats there for $6.50. We were definitely glad we had them when we were stooping and crawling as we explored the beautiful cave. Then, when we were leaving after our quick trip, we were glad the kids had such cool souvenirs to remember the place by.
The kids loved it, the adults loved it. We will definitely go do some more of the caves again.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Sarah R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
51 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Worth a visit”
Reviewed September 15, 2013

Loved this place. There's so much to see and do. It wasn't explained very well in our guide books (we simply thought it was some kind of monument) so we didn't really know what to expect. Hence when we arrived we weren't well equipped for exploring all of the caves. As a result we could only do the caves with an easy or intermediate difficulty rating. The visitor centre do loan torches but you have to buy everything else. Make sure you take a helmet and protective knee pads if you plan to do the most difficult caves. Overall, we had a fantastic time exploring the caves and would definitely recommend this place for a half day or full day visit.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank CJSc0tt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LOUISVILLE
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Underground Fun”
Reviewed September 4, 2013

I traveled here with two older teenagers, and we all loved the park.. You can go at your own pace, spending as little or as much time as you want looking around the lava tubes. Loved the fact that they let you go in without a guide, just you and your flashlights. A small book describing the various tubes is available at the visitor center. It was a good resource in helping us decide which areas to explore, as there are so many to choose from. Some of the tubes continue near the ground surface, while other go deeper underground. Remember to bring water and pack a lunch, as there are not a lot of services available at the park. This is definitely a must stop if you are visiting the Crater Lake area.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank KentuckyLucky1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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