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  • Writer's pictureLee Eel Eisler

Lava Beds National Monument

Updated: Nov 20, 2018

Does exploring lava tube caves underground sound cool to you? How about viewing the lava rocks left from rivers of lava flowing through the area. What about viewing Native American Petroglyphs?

Lava beds national monument has over 700 caves with over 20 that have maps and tell you what you are getting into before entering the caves.

The first stop when you enter the park is to head to the visitors center to get screened for white nose bat syndrome and get your cave permit.

After that you are free to explore! We received a map that told which caves were closed due to bat colonies living inside. One of the important things about caving or enjoying the wilderness at all is to leave no trace. Caves are delicate places without a lot of ventilation and stuff.

We got to the park fairly late the first day and explored the caves near the visitor center. The Mushpot Cave is the best one to start out on. It has lights and informational signs within telling you about lava tubes, how they are formed, what to look for and more. None of the other caves provide light or signs inside so enjoy it!

Basically we did as many caves as we could in a day because we were camping in the forest and the temperatures were in the teens. Also it unfortunately is not the most ideal place for our doggies as they are only allowed on paved surfaces with in the monument.

Something cool about this area is there were many wars wars fought between native Americans and white people. Narive Americans were able to use their knowledge of the land to make a stand against the US Army.

Lava Beds National Monument is a special place to visit and gives a very unique experience.

Things To Bring:

- A flashlight (it's pitch black in the caves)

- A backup flashlight (in case one goes out you can still see)

- Warm clothing (it can be cold in the caves)

- A helmet (hitting your head in a cave is pretty likely to happen)

- Kneepads (some of the caves yo9u crawl in and crawling on lava rocks sucks)

- Food and water (There's nothing around besides volcanoes_

I highly recommend driving the Volcanic Scenic Byway. It's amazing.

Let us know how you like it, if you have any other questions or if you plan to go.



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