Lava Beds National Monument is a gem in the National Park system. Tucked away in the northeast corner of California, it’s a place full of history, both Native American and volcanic. Lava Beds is home to many hundreds of lava tube caves, some of which can be toured publicly – just bring a good headlamp and a hard hat.
Here’s a section of the Cave Loop map, showing the outlines and entrances of some of the many caves near the visitor center.
Recently I was up in Lava Beds for the Cave Research Foundation board of director’s meeting and managed to get in a few days of ridgewalking and surveying after the meeting. Here’s a photo of one of the publicly accessible caves – Valentine’s Cave – which features some really nice gutters along the walls near the entrance. Shown is Mary Rose, who posed patiently for me during an enjoyable afternoon photo trip in this fine cave.