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Lava Beds National Monument

Contact Info
1 Indian Well Headquarters
Tulelake, CA 96134

530-667-2282, Ext. 232
A few miles south of the Oregon border in north central California
National Park


At Lava Beds National Monument, volcanic eruptions on the Medicine Lake shield volcano have created an incredibly rugged landscape punctuated by cinder cones, lava flows, spatter cones, lava tube caves and pit craters. In the late 1800s, the Modoc Indians used these tortuous lava flows to their advantage in a battle with US troops. Under the leadership of Captain Jack, the Modocs took refuge in "Captain Jack's Stronghold," a natural lava fortress. From this base a group of 53 fighting men and their families held off US Army forces numbering up to ten times their strength for five months. Visitors can tour both the geologic and historic wonders of this unusual landscape.

Hours + Fees


Lava Beds National Monument is always open to visitors.

Lava Beds’‘ caves, trails, camping, and attractions are open year-round. Occasionally in winter, snow can temporarily close park roads until they are plowed.

The Visitor Center is open every day except Christmas (December 25). Hours are as follows:
Summer: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
(Memorial through Labor Day)
Fall, Winter, Spring: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Open year-round (visitor center open 8 am to 5 pm in winter and 8 am to 6 pm in summer)


Modern Restrooms
Picnic Area(s)
Visitor Center


Additional Details:
Popular activities at the park include exploring lava tube caves, hiking to cinder cones and craters, or viewing petroglyphs from northern California''s indigenous people.

Map + Directions

Basic Directions
Visitors traveling south on Highway 139 (from Oregon) will see signs four miles south of Tulelake directing them into Lava Beds. Visitors traveling north on Highway 139 (from Alturas) will see signs 27 miles north of Canby directing them into Lava Beds.
Customizable Directions

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