Lava Beds National Monument

Modoc County

Lava Beds National Monument

Indian Well Campground at Lava Beds National Monument

Indian Well Campground at Lava Beds National Monument

Lava Beds National Monument
Attractions and Activities

Visitors to Lava Beds National Monument 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.)
  • Join a 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 pictographs..
  • 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 .

Key State Park Information

  1. Pictographs: Please do no touch the pictographs as oils from your skin will cause further deterioration of the art.
  2. Caves: Stay on available trails, do not touch cave features. Follow guidelines provided at the visitor center.
  3. Pets; Keep pets on leash and always attended. Pets are not allowed on trails or in the caves.

Indian Well Campground

Lava Beds National Monument is in northeastern California, 62 miles northwest of Alturas and 165 miles northeast of Redding. Because of its remote location, the monument sees few visitors compared to other California parks. Those who do make the drive are treated to an array of lava tube caves which are open to exploration on your own. In fact, the park even loans flashlights to facilitate explorations. Cave explorers are asked to check in at the Visitor Center before venturing into the lava tubes. Rangers at the Visitor Center can provide complete information about the best caves to explore. Visitors should note that gas is not available in the monument nor at any nearby locations.

Indian Well Campground at Lava Beds National Monument is situated ½ mile from the visitor center. The campground has 43 sites spread among scattered trees. The campsites themselves are not particularly attractive, but the uniqueness of the park with all its lava caves more than makes up for any shortcomings in camping ambiance. The campsites are all available on a first come, first served basis. They can accommodate RVs, trailers, and tents. There is also a Group Camp

Campground Basics
Location: Lava Beds National Monument Road, off Road 44N01 off Highway 139, northwest of Alturas
Elevation: 3,300 feet
Mileage from gateway city: Redding - 165 miles
Number of Sites: 43
Open - Closed: open year-round
Max. People per Site: 8 (including children)
Vehicles per Site: 2 vehicles or 3 motorcycles
Pets: Dogs on leash and attended at all times.
Ahjumawi Lave Springs State Park: (530) 667-8113

No Reservations Campsites are first come, first served
Maximum RV/trailer Length: 30 feet
Wheelchair Accessible Sites: 2 accessible campsites, amphitheater, some trails and overlooks, visitor center
Fees: $10 per night
Check-in, check-out: check -in any time, check-out Noon

Indian Well Campground Amenities
Campsites: Picnic table, cooking grill, fire ring; no hook-ups
Campground: Restrooms with flush toilets, piped water, amphitheater
Showers: No
Dump station: No
Nearby attractions: Hiking trails, lava tube caves, historic sites, volcanic attractions, Medicine Lake, Glass Mountain, Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Tule Lake Unit of WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument

Indian Well Group Campsite

The group campsite at Indian Well Campground can accommodate between 15 and 40 people. The campsite is for tents only; however, one vehicle at a time is permitted into the site for unloading or loading. Vehicles must be parked in the A-loop overflow parking area or at the visitor center. the campsite includes picnic tables, a large cooking grill, a group fire ring, a water spigot, and 2 pit toilets.
Fees: $3 per person (minimum of $45 and maximum of $60)
Reservations: (530) 667-8113 (up to 3 months in advance)

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, firewood from outside the area is not permitted.

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

Driving times may vary based on conditions. Every effort is made to provide accurate and up to date information, but we cannot be responsible for errors or for changes that may have occurred since publication. Always confirm information with the service provider and check for any recent changes that may have been made. The information provided on this website is done so without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.