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“Amazing lava tubes”

Lava Beds National Monument
Ranked #1 of 7 things to do in Tulelake
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed February 19, 2014

Last weekend we spent a day at the Lava Beds National Monument in Modoc county California.
I've been visiting this area since the mid 60's but I always find something new and interesting. There are hundreds of caves to explore and just as many volcanic features around the monument.
Just across the road from the main visitor canter is the "Mush pot" cave. This cave is small and recently lights have been installed for visitors can get a good look at the formations inside the cave. There is a "cave loop" drive that takes visitors to many caves in just a small area. Exploring these caves has to be one of my favorite childhood memories, and the caves are accessible to most ages.
Among the better caves are the Valentine cave, Fern cave, the Catacombs cave, and the Merrill ans Skull ice caves. Flashlights or lanterns are needed to explore any of the cave other than Mush pot.
Camping is available inside the park but it's recommended for spring though fall only, as the winter months are very cold. Hours of operation are (fall, winter spring) 8:00 am to 5:30 pm.
Summer hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Bring plenty of water or juice as you may get thirsty going through so many wonderful lava caves.
Areas of interest include Captain Jacks stronghold, where a handful of Modoc Indians held off the US Army for many months. There are also Indian paintings or "petroglyphs" in many areas throughout the park.
Great fun for people of all ages, 6 and up.

Happy traveling!

5  Thank FishinOregon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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179 - 183 of 283 reviews

Reviewed December 10, 2013

Lava Bed National Monument is one of kind experience. Not many people visit this place as it is in a remote area and not nearby attractions as well, If you are in the Shasta/Klamath area and you have a day to spare, I would highly recommend this place.
We, after much debate decided to visit the place and we are glad we did. We drove from Shasta area and reached Lava Beds around 10:30am. After gathering some information from the visitor center (open year round, I believe), we started our caving adventure at 11am. We spent around 5 hours caving different ones. Golden Dome was one of the best and would recommend it. We did not cave any difficult ones. We only hit the easy and the moderate caves. Some of the caves were closed 'cause bats were hibernation in them.
Except one cave none of he caves are lit. So make sure you take flash lights, and spare batteries in case you run out. The visitor center will rent out flash lights, but the led flash light/bike lights are much brighter than those lights. Take helmets (bike one would work) as well, You would need knee and elbow pads if plan to cave the difficult ones. Wear layers and water proof outerwear.

1  Thank sf_vatsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2013

This is a completely unique experience. Just to enter the cave where millions of years ago actual lava used to flow through can give you chills. This is absolutely worth the visit. The approach to this park is rather remote. You have to drive a long way away from the freeway to get here but i can assure you in my opinion it is every bit worth it.

You will most likely go through "deer xing" . We saw more than 15 deers just roaming around the road... people have seen other wildlife there...

There are plenty of different caves you can go through... so you will need proper time set aside for a visit. The visitor center offers flash lights for the caves so that's great.

1  Thank RelaxedVoyager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2013

This national Monument has so much to offer. There are caves to visit for all experience levels and tons of historical sites. There is something for everyone. The visitors center is a great place to learn about the history of the area and the friendly staff can help lead you in the right direction for a day full of exploring. I don't live too far away and I love to visit as often as I can.

Thank Smallblockstacey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2013

There is so much too look around at the Lava Beds, I had never even known these were here!
They have anything from beginning to difficult caves to explore, if you forgot any gear they sell it in the gift shop at reasonable prices, the staff is super friendly and will direct you as to what works best for you to attempt!

Definitely check this out!

Thank Jason N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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