Captain Jacks Stronghold, Tulelake, Ca

Captain Jacks Stronghold with two rangers
Captain Jacks Stronghold with two rangers

As you walk the 1.5 mi (2.4 km) trail through the trenches of the Stronghold, think of the courage it took for a small band of Modoc people to endure the winter of 1872-1873 here. Try as well to imagine the fear Army soldiers must have felt launching an assault on this virtual fortress of lava. Hospital Rock, one of the sites from which the Army attacked, is also visible from high points within the Stronghold. It can be visited along the road just to the east. It took the Army five months to drive the Modoc from the Stronghold, and soon after from their entire homeland. Still, a modern culture of Modoc descendants survives, especially in Oregon and Oklahoma. You may see prayer ribbons and sage offerings hanging on the medicine pole near the junction of the two trails, signifying the continuing importance of this special place.

Lava Beds National Monument

Last updated: November 6, 2021