• Schonchin Butte

    Lava Beds

    National Monument California

Plan Your Field Trip

School Bus
 
SCA Jesse leading students into Valentine cave

SCA Jesse taking students into Valentine Cave

Ranger Led Education Programs

Lava Beds offers three curriculum-based ranger-led education programs that can be requested at least 6 weeks before your field trip. Groups are asked to please choose one of the three programs, so that rangers will be available to assist other schools groups. Programs include a guided tour of Valentine Cave, a ½ mile hike through Captain Jack's stronghold, and a geology presentation inside of Mushpot cave.

 
School Bus

Apply for an Entrance Fee Waiver

Lava Beds collects a park entrance fee, but education groups may apply to have that fee waived. Fee waivers do not apply to campground fees.

 
Modoc Baskets in Visitor Center

Modoc baskets on display in the visitor center

Stop by the Visitor's Center

Dozens of interpretative exhibits showcase the natural and cultural history of the park. The 12 minute park video plays at the visitor center throughout the day.

 
Kids Caving

Caving in Lava Beds

Go Caving

With over 20 developed caves, groups can easily spend days underground exploring this unique environment. The safest way to take a large group caving is to divide into groups of 6-8 students with at least one adult assigned to each group. Students can walk around the 2-mile loop road from the Visitor Center with each small group exploring a different cave.

Before entering any caves at Lava Beds, groups need to come to the visitor center to be screened fro White-nose Syndrome. After being screened we highly suggest that groups do at least one of the following activities:

  1. Complete activities on caving ethics and safety in the Geology or Cave Life Trunks.
  2. Request a geology presentation inside Mushpot cave or a Valentine cave tour.
  3. Request a short "Cave Safely, Cave Softly" orientation talk before going caving.
 
Studetns hiking the stronghold

Students hiking Captain Jacks Stronghold

Go Hiking

With over a dozen hiking trails through Lava Beds, you're bound to find one that offers an amazing adventure for your students. Tails range from .5 miles to over 8 miles in length, and go through various habitats found within Lava Beds.

 
tent

Camp Over Night

Extend your visit by camping in Indian Well Campground. There are 43 regular sites that are available on a first-come, first-served bases. One group site is available for groups between 15-40 people and can be reserved up to three months in advance.

 
Rattle Snake

Western Rattlesnake

Stay Safe

Whether exploring Lava Beds above or below ground there things to consider to keep you and your students safe.

 
Ranger Dave giving a ranger program

Ranger Dave, giving a program

Attend a Ranger Program

In the summer, many free ranger programs are offered on a regular schedule. For small groups, there is typically no need to pre-register. For large groups, please contact us in advance so we can accommodate you. These programs are posted weekly on our Facebook page.

Did You Know?

Tall Hawksbeard

Tall hawksbeard (Crepis acuminate) blooms in early summer all over the monument, and is a favorite nectar source for many butterflies. It is in the sunflower family, which includes daisies, asters, and even thistles.