Plan Your Field Trip
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.
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.
Stop by the Visitor Center
Dozens of interpretative exhibits showcase the natural and cultural history of the park. There is a 12 minute park video that provides a great overview of all that you can see and do at the park. The visitor center is also where you group will need to come to screened for white-nose syndrome, prior to entering any caves in the park.
With over 20 developed caves, groups can easily spend days underground exploring this unique environment. Before coming to the park we recommend reviewing the "Cave Safely, Cave Softly" page and sharing it with your students and chaparones.
Once you arrive at the park, your group will need to come to the visitor center to be screened for white-nose syndrome, prior to entering any caves in the park.
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.
Extend Your Field Trip and Stay the Night
Lava Beds has one campground, Indian Well Campground, located 1/2 mile (0.8 km) from the Visitor Center and cave loop. There are 43 sites available on a first-come, first serve basis. Sites can accommodate tents, pickup campers, small trailers and motor homes up to 30 feet. There is also one Group Site that can be reserved and accommodate 15-40 people. To learn more visit our camping page.
Whether exploring Lava Beds above or below ground there things to consider to keep you and your students safe.
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.
Last updated: April 10, 2017