NorCal Roadtrips

An Explorer's Guide to Northern California

Lava Beds National Monument


This unique landscape was created over half a million years by volcanic eruptions on the Medicine Lake shield volcano. The result is over 700 lava tube caves, many of which can be toured. Native American petroglyphs and pictographs can be seen. The Klamath National Wildlife Refuge is nearby, the largest bald eagle wintering area in the lower 48 states.

The area was also the site of what is known as The Modoc War, where a tribe of Modoc Indians waged war with the U.S. Army. Remnants of that conflict may also be visited.

It is located in the northeastern tip of the state, not far from both the Nevada and Oregon borders. The town of Tulelake is 30 miles to the north and the Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a major site for migratory birds.

There are twelve established hiking trails in the monument. Some of the key attractions are noted on the next page.


Things To Do Campgrounds Photo Gallery