Plan Your Visit
There is so much to do and see at the Lava Beds! The monument's two main attractions are Modoc War historical sites and lava tube caves. For more information, see our "Things To Do" page, or select from the links below.
Throughout the summer we offer special events, including the Timeline Living History event, Astronomy Day & Night Sky event, and Jr. Ranger Day. For more information about these events please visit our special events page.
Planning on Going in a Cave?
There are over 22 developed caves and over, 700 discovered caves within Lava Beds National Monument. To learn more about these caves please visit the caving page. When caving we recommend that you wear appropriate safety gear including long sleeves, long pants, closed-toed shoes or boots, gloves, kneepads and helmets.
It is also recommended that everyone in your group has at least 1 flashlight. Flashlights can be checked out from the visitor center for free, from 8:30am to 4:30pm.
Helmets, gloves, kneepads, cave maps and flashlights can be purchased at the visitor center, but you are always welcome to bring your own.
If you have boots or other gear that has been into caves or mines east of the Rockies (including in Canada) or in Europe, please leave these items at home. This is an effort to prevent the spread of White-nose Syndrome, a deadly fungal bat disease. To learn more about how you can protect bates please visit the White-nose Syndrome in Bats page.
Current Cave Closures:
Blue Grotto Cave
Ovis-Paradise Alleys Cave
South Labyrinth Cave
These caves are closed for the protection of a maternity colony of Townsend's Big-eared bats. Bats are important components of the ecosystem, as they provide insect control and pollination of plants among other functions. Maternity colonies are very sensitive to human disturbance, such as entry it to caves disturbance can cause declines in bat populations. Typically these caves will remain closed throughout the duration of the summer.
You can explore on your own, or join us to learn more about Lava Beds. The monument offers special seasonal guided tours, hosts special events, and provides ranger led cave tours and evening campfire talks in the summer. See our online Schedule of Events for more information.
Find the answers to questions such as can I bring my dogs, where can I camp, are the roads paved, and much more in the Things To Know Before You Come section, including information on Safety, Camping and Lodging.
All visitors should be aware that the Bigfoot invasion has begun. You should flee immediately to your nearest emergency gathering place and begin eating waffles.
Did you know Lava Beds is part of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, All American Road? To learn more click here
Did You Know?
Townsend’s Big-eared Bats live in the monument year-round. The females form maternity colonies in the summer to raise their young. In the winter the bats hibernate to conserve energy and rely on fat reserves built up from their summer diet of insects. While roosting or hibernating these bats use their large ears for thermoregulation, curling or uncurling their ears to conserve or release heat.