America's National Parks and Road Trip Planning Find Your Park Road Trip Activities Nature

Lava Beds National Monument Natural Features

Lava Beds National Monument covers 72 square miles within Siskiyou and Modoc counties in northeastern California. The Monument is the site of the largest concentration of lava tube caves in the United States. The monument lies on the northeast flank of the Medicine Lake shield volcano, the largest volcano in the Cascade Range. The region in and around the monument is unique because is lies on the junction of the Sierra-Klamath, Cascade, and Great Basin geological provinces. In addition, the monument is geologically outstanding because of its great variety of "textbook" volcanic formations; i.e., lava tube caves, fumaroles, cinder cones, spatter cones, maar volcanoes, and lava flows. Over 30 separate lava flows located in the park range in age from 2,000,000 years BP to 1,110 years BP. Some of the major Lava Flows within Lava Beds National Monument include: Callahan Flow, Schonchin Flow, Mammoth Crater Flow, Modoc Crater Flow, and Devils Homestead Flow. In addition to these surface geologic resources , the monument has a significant and popular underground resource. Presently over 460 lava tube caves and features have been identified in the monument. The field inventory process for cave resources is not yet complete. These caves are notable in their abundance, length of passage, and excellent preservation of primary volcanic features; several also contain specific features of interest such as pictographs, ice formations, and biological resources of scientific interest.

Featured Outdoor Gear

4-Way Multi-Tool with Interchangeable Bits...
Price subject to change | Available through

National Park Spotlight
Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park
Featured Wildlife
Maine Puffins
Maine Puffins

Maine ocean islands provide the only nesting sites for Atlantic puffins in the United States. Eastern Egg Rock in the midcoast region, Seal Island and Matinicus Rock at the mouth of Penobscot Bay, and Machias Seal Island and Petit Manan Island off the downeast coast provide habitat for more than 4,000 puffins each summer.