|A less explored part of Northern California|
|The Medicine Lake Volcano|
The Medicine Lake Volcano is one of the largest volcanoes in the US. Its not quite as massive, conical, or even prominent as some of the world’s more famous volcanoes, but it packs quite the potential for explosion. In the volcanic Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest, it has the largest mass out of all. Geologically speaking, Lava Beds NM is full of lava formations which offer some great adventures.
Outdoor Adventure in Lava Beds
As mentioned earlier, this place is a mecca for outdoor adventure. The primary activity of the park is CAVING! The park contains literally hundreds of caves formed in the petrified lava. These caves are actually known as Lava Tubes. I won’t go into detail on how they are formed, but they can be extensive and maze-like. Some of the caves are quite simple and accessible while others require serious cave navigation skills. I will have a more detailed blog post on which caves are available and which are the best to see.
|Hundreds of caves to explore|
|The view from Petroglyph Point|
In addition to being a fantastic example of weird and wonderful lava formations, Lava Beds is the sight of much Native American history. The Modoc Wars of 1872-1873 took place here when the US government attempted to relocate the Klamath and Modoc tribes were relocated to the same reservation. These tribes were, to say the least, not friendly with each other and this escalated to some larger conflicts. (this is a very abbreviated history, visiting the park will fill in the gaps.) The leader of the Modoc resistance, Captain Jack, took advantage of the natural fortress-like formations of the lava beds and was able to repel off an army 10 times the size of his band. Named “Captain Jacks Stronghold” the formations themselves feel much like a military fort.
|Natural Fortress; "Captain Jack's Stronghold"|
Read. Plan. Get Out There!