Lava Beds National Monument, California

Top Pic: Entrance to Golden Dome cave. Some of the caves (lava tubes) have steps at the entrance, but most don't.

This place has been on our bucket list for some time & we’re glad that we finally arrived. I think I see some lava tube/cave exploring on the horizon.

Indian Well - National Monument Campground, near Tulelake CA: Site #A8 (40 RV sites total) - This site has: • water nearby. Campground Notes: flush toilets • vault toilets (in group site) • trails from campground • trails nearby • 4,595’ elevation. May 16th - 20. Miles traveled: 106 miles (tap on mileage to see route & elevation change).

• Lots of good caves to explore.
• Very nice & well maintained campground.
• All sites non-reservable.
• No dump station.
• Most sites are too short for our coach (28ft, 9in).

Overall Experience: Smile

Well, we made it to our twelfth & final planned stop on this trip, but we just may squeeze one more in before we’re home again.

Caves were on the books for today. We explored three: Golden Dome, Sunshine, and Lower & Upper Sentinel (enter one & exit the other).

While we were at Petroglyph Point, we caught a glimpse of Mt. Shasta. We were surprised that it was relatively close.

Mooch is finally done snoozing. Who is watching who?

Lava Beds was a real gem. Searching for that pot of gold.

In the remote northeastern corner of California, you'll find Lava Beds National Monument. It's a hidden gem that offers a unique look at the area's volcanic past. This national park spans 46,000 acres and is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. With over 800 lava tubes, Native American rock art, historic battlefield sites, and other natural wonders, there's something for everyone here.

Exploring Lava Beds National Monument

At the heart of Lava Beds National Monument is the Indian Well Campground. It's the only campground in the park and a popular choice for those wanting to fully experience this volcanic landscape. The campground is conveniently located just half a mile from the visitor center and the famous cave loop, making it easy to access all of the park's attractions.

  • The Indian Well Campground has 43 individual campsites, each equipped with a picnic table and fire ring.
  • There are flush toilets and drinking water available for campers to use.
  • The campground is open year-round, so you can visit during any season.
  • Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and there's a nightly fee of $10 per site.

Beyond the campground, Lava Beds National Monument has even more to offer:

  • Lava Tubes: Take guided tours of the park's lava tubes to see incredible cave formations and learn about volcanic history.
  • Hiking Trails: Explore the rugged terrain on hiking trails that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
  • Tulelake: Just a short drive away from the monument is the town of Tulelake, which serves as a gateway to the park and the surrounding area.

Discovering Tulelake

Tulelake is a small community with its own set of attractions for visitors:

  • Tulelake-Butte Valley Fairgrounds: This venue hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including the annual Tulelake-Butte Valley Fair, which is one of the largest agricultural fairs in the region.
  • Tulelake-Butte Valley Fairgrounds Museum: Learn about the area's history and culture at this museum located in the fairgrounds.
  • Tulelake-Butte Valley Fairgrounds Interpretive Center: Get insights into the local environment and wildlife through informative exhibits at this interpretive center.
  • Winema Lodge: If you prefer a more laid-back stay, the nearby Winema Lodge offers five cozy guest rooms with a rustic charm.

With its fascinating geology, rich heritage, and nearby town amenities, Lava Beds National Monument and Tulelake make for an unforgettable adventure.

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