Headquarters Campground

Medicine Lake

Modoc National Forest

Medicine Lake

Headquarters Campground at Medicine Lake

Headquarters Campground at Medicine Lake

Lava Beds National Monument
Attractions and Activities

Visitors to Lava Beds National Monument and the surrounding area enjoy a variety of attractions in the area, none more popular than the many lava tubes. The Visitor Center is only open in the summer.

  • Stop in at the visitor center in the south end of the park. There the Natural History Association maintains a bookstore with snacks and equipment for loan to use exploring the lava caves (flashlights, helmets, etc.)
  • Guided ranger programs are offered in the summer.
  • Explore the hundreds of lava tube caves on your own. Get information at the visitor center first.
  • Hike the short trail to Hidden Valley and Mammoth Crater.
  • Take the short trail to Symbol Bridge and on to Big Painted Cave to see Modoc-style pictorgraphs..
  • Hike up to historic Schonchin butte Fire Lookout for views of the area.
  • Tour the Thomas-Wright Battlefield and Black Crater.
  • Special Events: Living History, Astronomy Day & Night Sky, Jr. Ranger Day .

Headquarters Campground

Headquarters Campground sits on the northwest corner of 640-acre Medicine Lake. As the crow flies, Medicine Lake is 42 miles northeast of Weed and 10 miles southwest of Lava Beds National Monument. Those who make the circuitous drive to Medicine Lake are rewarded with enjoyable boating, fishing, and hiking. A forest of pines and firs surround the lake which is in the crater of a collapsed volcano. Headquarters Campground is the smallest of 4 campgrounds at Medicine Lake.

Headquarters Campground has 16 campsites best suited for tents, but small RVs and trailers are permitted. Unpaved campground roads generate dust, so campsites farthest from the road are best choices. Private property separates the campground from the lake. The best access to the lake is at the day-use area with a beach and boat ramp on the east end of the lake. Headquarters Campground has a 14 day limit.

Campground Basics
Location: Forest Service Road 49/Medicine Lake Road, off Road 15, off Highway 89 (32 miles from Highway 89 to Medicine Lake)
Map to Medicine Lake: Medicine Lake Directions Map
Elevation: 6,700 feet
Mileage from gateway city: Redding - 119 miles
Number of Sites: 16
Open - Closed: Late May to early-October
Max. People per Site: 10 (including children)
Vehicles per Site: 2
Pets: on leash, always attended
Modoc National Forest: (530) 233-5811

Reservations for Headquarters Campground
Reservations Available Reservations are available from 7 days up to 6 months in advance of arrival date.
Maximum RV/trailer Length: 22 feet
Wheelchair Accessible Sites: some accessible sites and facilities
Fees: $14 per night
Reservations: Medicine Lake Recreation Area Reservations
Check-in, check-out: 2:00 PM, Noon

Headquarters Campground Amenities
Campsites: Picnic table, fire ring with grill; no hook-ups
Campground: Vault toilets, piped water
Showers: No
Dump station: Yes
Nearby attractions: Medicine Lake, boat launch ramps, beach, guided ranger tours in summer, hiking trails, fishing, swimming, ice caves, Little Medicine Lake, Glass Mountain, Lava Beds National Monument,

General Camping Information

Opening and closing dates of campgrounds are only estimates, usually dependent on snow conditions. Not all campsites can accommodate trailers or RVs of all lengths. Check carefully on the website when you make your reservation to be sure your vehicle will fit your campsite.

In order to prevent the spread of invasive insects, obtain firewood locally.

Accessible Sites

Designated Accessible sites are usually reserved for people with disabilities who have a vehicle displaying an accessible parking placard or license plate

Chicago Park Web Design

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