"Views from the Lava Beds" by NPS photo , public domain

Lava Beds

National Monument - California

Lava Beds National Monument is located in northeastern California, in Siskiyou and Modoc counties. The Monument lies on the northeastern flank of the Medicine Lake Volcano, and has the largest total area covered by a volcano in the Cascade Range.

maps

Official visitor map of Lava Beds National Monument (NM) in California. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Lava Beds - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of Lava Beds National Monument (NM) in California. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the Nobles Emigrant Trail section, part of the California National Historic Trail (NHT), located outside of Susanville, California. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).Nobles Emigrant Trail - Trail Map

Map of the Nobles Emigrant Trail section, part of the California National Historic Trail (NHT), located outside of Susanville, California. Published by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Motor Vehicle Travel Map (MVTM) of Goosenest in Klamath National Forest (NF) in California. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Klammath MVTM - Goosenest 2012

Motor Vehicle Travel Map (MVTM) of Goosenest in Klamath National Forest (NF) in California. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of Goosenest Ranger District South in Klamath National Forest (NF) in California. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).Klamath MVUM - Goosenest South 2020

Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of Goosenest Ranger District South in Klamath National Forest (NF) in California. Published by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

https://www.nps.gov/labe https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lava_Beds_National_Monument Lava Beds National Monument is located in northeastern California, in Siskiyou and Modoc counties. The Monument lies on the northeastern flank of the Medicine Lake Volcano, and has the largest total area covered by a volcano in the Cascade Range. Lava Beds National Monument is a land of turmoil, both geological and historical. Over the last half-million years, volcanic eruptions on the Medicine Lake shield volcano have created a rugged landscape dotted with diverse volcanic features. More than 800 caves, Native American rock art sites, historic battlefields and campsites, and a high desert wilderness experience await you! Lava Beds is a truly remote park, in a corner of California most people never visit. Most roads into this area wind through mountains, and along rivers, and travel may take longer than expected. Services are few and far between and winter driving conditions can be encountered anytime between fall and spring. Lava Beds Visitor Center Lava Beds is home to one visitor center located at the south end of the park, near cave loop road. An entrance station is located at the north end of the park, but is only open in the summer. As you drive through the park you can find information kiosks with park maps at Petroglyph Point, and Gillem's Camp. Lava Beds is truly a remote park, in a corner of California most people never visit. Most roads into this area wind through mountains and along rivers, and travel may take longer than expected. Services are few and far between, and winter driving conditions can be encountered any time between fall and spring. Remember to Plan Ahead - There is no gas available at Lava Beds. We encourage you to top your tank off in one of the nearby communities of Klamath Falls, OR, Merrill, OR, Tulelake, CA, or Alturas, CA. Indian Well Campground Lava Beds has one campground, Indian Well Campground, located 1/2 mile (0.8 km) from the Visitor Center and cave loop. There are 43 sites available on a first-come, first serve basis. Sites can accommodate tents, pickup campers, small trailers and motor homes up to 30 feet. Note: not all sites can accommodate motor homes. Camping fee 10.00 Sites are $10 per night, per site, and include a picnic table fire ring and cooking grill. Quiet hours are from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. and all campground rules apply to groups. Maximum 8 persons per site, 2 vehicles or 3 motorcycles. Maximum stay is 14 consecutive days in a 30-day period. Holders of an Access or Senior pass receive a 50% discount on their site. Pets are permitted in the campground, but must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet (1.8 m) Pets are not permitted in caves, trails or in buildings. Campsite Campsite Campsite in A Loop Sunrise at Lava Beds Sunrise at Lava Beds Sunrise at Lava Beds Sunset at Lava Beds Sunset at Lava Beds Sunset at Lava Beds Paintbrush along park trail Paintbrush along park trail Paintbrush along park trail Schonchin Butte & Skull Cave Schonchin Butte & Skull Cave Schonchin Butte & Skull Cave Snowy Sunrise snowy sunrise at Hopkins Chocolate Cave Snowy sunrise at Hopkins Chocolate Cave Installation of a Bio-Cleaning Station & Planetary Exploration Experiments in Park Lava Tubes In an effort to prevent the spread of White-Nose Syndrome in hibernating bats into the Monument, staff have developed a walk-across station to mitigate the risk of human WNS transmission. Monument lava tubes have also been recently used by researchers as an analog for the study of off-world lava fields and tubes. 4 rangers walking through shoe cleaning station Carpenter Ant Curious about carpenter ants? Explore their natural history in this edition of our monthly “Featured Creature,” brought to you by the Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Network. close up photo of carpenter ant National Parks Pitch In to Help Save Monarch Butterflies As scientists and citizen scientists have noted, insect populations are plummeting across the globe. Monarch butterfly populations are no exception. Recent counts show that the western population has experienced a precipitous drop. As of 2018, the population of monarchs overwintering along the California coast stands at just 0.6% of what it was in the 1980s. Monarch butterflies among eucalyptus leaves, viewed through a scope Park Air Profiles - Lava Beds National Monument Provides information about air pollution, research and monitoring, and related references specific to Lava Beds National Monument. Queen Alexandra's Sulphur Pileated Woodpecker Curious about the pileated woodpecker in Oregon and California? Explore its natural history in this edition of our monthly “Featured Creature,” brought to you by the Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Network. Face and front of a woodpecker, with black body, red crest, and small blue berry in its beak. Pikas in Peril The National Park Service stewards pika populations in more than a dozen parks and seeks to understand the vulnerability of pikas and other mountain species to climate change. Pikas in Peril, funded in 2010, was a collaborative research program directed by scientists from the National Park Service, Oregon State University, University of Idaho, and University of Colorado-Boulder. Profile of a pika on rough, dark red lava rock. © Michael Durham Rough-legged Hawk Curious about our wintering visitor to Oregon and California, the rough-legged hawk? Explore its natural history in this edition of our monthly “Featured Creature,” brought to you by the Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Network. Large hawk in flight with dark and light coloring underneath. NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Lava Beds National Monument, California Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. Links to products from Baseline Geologic and Soil Resources Inventories provide access to maps and reports. [Site Under Development] snow covered landscape Bat Projects in Parks: Lava Beds National Monument Find out how Lava Beds National Monument is holding the line for bat conservation. Ariel view of Lava Beds National Monument Bats in Caves Bats and caves go together in people's minds. National Parks are home to many important bat caves. But, bats are particular. Many caves only contain a few bats. Some bats like certain caves for raising their young and other caves for winter hibernation. Other bats avoid caves entirely and sleep and raise their young in protected locations in trees and rocks outside. a group of bats hanging on a cave ceiling Short-eared Owl Curious about the short-eared owl in Oregon and California? Explore its natural history in this edition of our monthly “Featured Creature,” brought to you by the Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Network. Owl with short feather tufts above eyes, buffy, streaked breast, and brownish body. Giant Water Bug Curious about giant water bugs in Oregon and California? Explore their natural history in this edition of our monthly “Featured Creature,” brought to you by the Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Network.” Brown, flattened but with many whitish, columnar eggs attached to its back. Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway One of only 42 All American Roads in the Nation, the 500-mile route connects Lassen Volcanic and Crater Lake National Parks. The volcanic activity of the Cascade Mountain Range has created unique geological formations that can only be seen in this part of America. A white car on a mountain road with a large mountain in the background Ladybug Curious about ladybugs in southern Oregon and northern California? Explore their natural history in this edition of our monthly "Featured Creature," brought to you by the Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Network. Cluster of small orange ladybug beetles with black spots on their backs, on vegetation. Sandhill Crane Curious about the sandhill crane in southern Oregon and northern California? Explore its natural history in this edition of our monthly “Featured Creature,” brought to you by the Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Network. Two large grayish-brown cranes stand together with wings outspread Anna's Hummingbird Curious about the Anna's hummingbird in southern Oregon and northern California? Explore its natural history in this edition of our monthly “Featured Creature,” brought to you by the Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Network. Small, green hummingbird with narrow bill and iridescent rose-colored feathers on throat and crown. Actinobacteria Curious about Actinobacteria in southern Oregon and northern California caves? Explore their natural history in this edition of our monthly “Featured Creature,” brought to you by the Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Network. golden-brown interior cave wall with person wearing helmet and cave clothing crouched at its base Parks, pikas, and physiological stress: Implications for long-term monitoring of an NPS climate-sensitive sentinel species Baseline values of physiological stress can be incorporated into monitoring plans for pikas, providing park managers with additional information related to the vulnerability of this climate-sensitive model species that occurs within a large number of western parks. American pika (Copyright Dick Orleans) Orange Sulphur Curious about the orange sulphur butterfly in southern Oregon and northern California? Explore its natural history in this edition of our monthly "Featured Creature," brought to you by the Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Network. Yellowish-orange butterfly with dark band along the wing edges perches with wings open. Great Gray Owl Curious about the great gray owl in southern Oregon and northern California? Explore its natural history in this edition of our monthly “Featured Creature,” brought to you by the Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Network. Large gray-checkered owl with outspread wings comes to land on a post. Ruffed Grouse Curious about the ruffed grouse in southern Oregon and northern California? Explore its natural history in this edition of our monthly “Featured Creature,” brought to you by the Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Network. Grouse with reddish brown and white mottling and streaking, a head crest and a dark tail band. UV-C Light Could Control White-Nose Syndrome, but First Let’s Ask the Cave Biota White-nose syndrome causes bats to wake up more frequently during hibernation, wasting precious fat reserves, which often leads to starvation. With the fungus that causes it having spread to the West Coast, Klamath Inventory & Monitoring Network scientists and park staff are checking the health of local bat populations and collaborating with researchers to find a treatment before it potentially turns up at the network’s two cave parks: Oregon Caves NM and Lava Beds NM. Brazilian freetailed bat under UV light. Series: Inside Earth – NPS Cave & Karst News – Summer 2017 This newsletter is produced as a forum for information and idea exchanges between National Park Service units that contain caves and karst landscapes. It also provides a historical overview and keeps partners and other interested folks aware of cave and karst management activities. 4 rangers walk through shoe cleaning station Series: Geologic Time Periods in the Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display at a visitor center Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: Cave Week—Featured Articles More than 20 parks across the US are participating in Cave Week via social media posts, cave tours, exhibits, school events, web pages and much more. The theme for Cave Week 2020 is, “Why do we go into caves?” This articles shares a few stories about why people (and bats) enter caves. person standing by underground lake in a cave Series: Park Air Profiles Clean air matters for national parks around the country. Photo of clouds above the Grand Canyon, AZ Quaternary Period—2.58 MYA to Today Massive ice sheets advanced and retreated across North America during much of the Quaternary, carving landscapes in many parks. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve contains geologic evidence of lower sea level during glacial periods, facilitating the prehistoric peopling of the Americas. The youngest rocks in the NPS include the lava of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the travertine at Yellowstone National Park, which can be just a few hours old. fossil bone bed and murals of mammoths Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic Era (66 million years ago [MYA] through today) is the "Age of Mammals." North America’s characteristic landscapes began to develop during the Cenozoic. Birds and mammals rose in prominence after the extinction of giant reptiles. Common Cenozoic fossils include cat-like carnivores and early horses, as well as ice age woolly mammoths. fossils on display in a visitor center Douglas's Squirrel Curious about the Douglas's squirrel in southern Oregon and northern California? Explore its natural history in this edition of our monthly “Featured Creature,” brought to you by the Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Network. Medium-sized squirrel with tawny belly, gray back, whitish eye ring, and tufts on ears, in a tree. Scientist Profile: Alice Chung-MacCoubrey, Biologist and I&M Program Manager Meet Alice Chung-MacCoubrey, ecologist and program manager for the Klamath Inventory & Monitoring Network! Discover how Alice followed her passion for wildlife and the outdoors to the National Park Service Inventory & Monitoring Program, and learn about her work studying bats. Biologist holds bat with gloved hands. The Northwestern Bat Hub: Banding Together for Bat Monitoring Across the West The first detection of white-nose syndrome in the American West in 2016 highlighted an urgent need to better understand the distribution and ecology of around twenty species of bats in Western states. To do this, ecologists in several Inventory & Monitoring Networks and National Parks joined with the USGS and ten other university and agency partners to expand the North American Bat Monitoring Program to sites across the West and develop the Northwestern Bat Hub. Close-up of a western mastiff bat in a gloved hand. Blanket Cave National Youth Park—Activity Enjoy a fun activity and learn about caves even when you can't get out to a park. In this activity you will build your own cave and learn how to make it like a "real" natural cave. Find out about cave formations and wildlife, and how to be safe and care for caves. New "Blanket Cave National Youth Parks" are springing up all across America! Join the fun! cartoon drawing of a childs and a park ranger exploring a cave Did You Know We Never Hire Women? In 1920, as Ranger Isabelle Bassett Wasson arrived at Yellowstone, Dr. Harold C. Bryant and Dr. Loye Holmes Miller launched the new NPS education program with the Free Nature Guide Service at Yosemite National Park. Female Ranger talks to a crowd Vaux's Swift Curious about the Vaux's swift in southern Oregon and northern California? Explore its natural history in this edition of our monthly “Featured Creature,” brought to you by the Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Network. A small, pale brown, cigar-shaped bird with narrow, pointed wings, in flight. American Black Bear Curious about the American black bear in southern Oregon and northern California? Explore its natural history in this edition of our monthly “Featured Creature,” brought to you by the Klamath Inventory and Monitoring Network. Black-colored black bear with a dandelion in its mouth.
Lava Beds National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Lava Beds National Monument Things to See and Do on Your Own Something for Everyone Many visitors to Lava Beds are excited to discover there is much more to do here than they thought! There is plenty see and do for a day or even a week— explore a cave, hike a trail, photograph wildlife, climb a spatter cone, contemplate a battlefield, peer into a crater, or view Native American rock art. The sites in this bulletin are arranged by their distance from the Visitor Center, and represent only a few highlights of what Lava Beds has to offer. If you are particularly interested in one aspect of Lava Beds such as Modoc War sites, geologic features, rock art, caves, or wilderness hiking, please ask for additional brochures. Trail guides are available at Gillems Camp, Captain Jacks Stronghold, and Petroglyph Point. You’ll also find interpretive signs at these and many other sites throughout the Monument, and inside Mushpot Cave. Caves Hundreds of lava tube caves beckon exploration at Lava Beds. They vary greatly in difficulty, length, and complexity. Over two dozen caves have developed entrances and trails, and are shown on the Monument’s map. Most are open throughout the year to explore on your own. If you plan to explore caves, please stop by the Visitor Center to get a caving brochure and talk with a ranger to ensure you are prepared. Free guided cave tours are also offered daily in summer. Hidden Valley and Mammoth Crater A short trail meanders along the rim of Hidden Valley under Ponderosa pines. Enjoy the rare shade this area provides in summertime, and observe the impressive results of lava that flowed through from Mammoth Crater. The short trail to Mammoth Crater begins across the road at the parking area and leads up to the rim. Imagine lava flowing in multiple episodes from this massive crater about 30,000 years ago. It created all the lava tube caves in the Cave Loop area, and many more farther north. To explore the rocky, forested landscape of Lava Beds’ southern end further, continue around the Big Nasty Trail or hike the nearby trail to Heppe Cave. Symbol Bridge and Big Painted Cave This easy 0.8 mi (1.3 km) trail leads to Symbol Bridge with a short spur trail to Big Painted Cave. Both cave entrances contain black and white Modoc-style pictographs on boulders and walls. Although many pictographs are weathered and faint, you will still marvel at the artwork here. Please stay on the trail and do not touch the pictographs, since oils from your skin will cause further deterioration. Visit this site with respect, as it still holds cultural significance for some Native Americans. Schonchin Butte A hike up the steep 0.7 mi (1.1 km) trail to the historic Schonchin Butte Fire Lookout is well worth the effort! Imagine the labor of the Civilian Conservation Corps crew that not only carried up by hand all the materials needed to build the lookout, but first had to build the trail itself. Enjoy the breeze and scenery any time of year from the lookout’s balcony, where interpretive panels identify landmarks in all four directions. In summer, a firefighter may be on duty to tell you about their work and administer a Junior Fire Lookout program for kids. Fleener Chimneys A short side road takes you to the fascinating Fleener Chimneys. This spatter cone is the source of the rough Devils Homestead aa flow. It was created as erupting globs of molten lava piled up on each other like sticky oatmeal, leaving a 50 ft (15 m) deep chimney behind in the center. Picnic tables at this site are shaded by junipers. The tables were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps more than sixty years ago! The massive logs were obtained at Oregon Caves National Monument, and the rocks gathered locally. An accessible restroom is also available here. Thomas-Wright Battlefield and Black Crater This 1.1 mi (1.8 km) trail leads to the site of a Modoc ambush on an Army reconnaissance mission during the Modoc War. Interpretive signs at the beginning and end of the trail explain the battle and its aftermath. The main trail follows the edge of the lava flow from Black Crater. A short side trail just past the trailhead also leads onto Black Crater itself, a large spatter cone. Look for tree molds, made when a living tree was burned away by fresh lava and left the imprint of its bark inside. If you are interested in exploring more geologic features, be sure to stop at pullouts in the Devils Homestead lava flow, just north on the main road. Gillems Camp and Sheepy Ridge From April through June 1873, Army soldiers were stationed here during the Modoc War. Walk the easy guided trail around this area and discover why ancient Modoc, the Army, the Civilian Conservation Corps, and National Park Service rangers alike cherished its location on the shores of old Tule Lake. You can also hike to the top of Gillem Bluff (known as Sheepy Ridge to the Modoc and settlers) alon
● Least Challenging These caves have relatively high ceilings and smoother floors or trails. Mushpot Cave (770 ft / 235 m) Recommended as an introductory cave, interpretive signs explain: formations, ecology and cave climate. The cave is lighted, however, bring extra light and watch your head. Sentinel Cave (3,280 ft / 1,000 m) This cave’s easy main trail requires no stooping or ducking, and has lots of interesting features. This is one of the only developed caves with two entrances. Valentine Cave (1,635 ft / 498 m) Named for the day it was discovered in 1933, it has large main passages with smooth floors and walls. It was created by a different lava source than the caves on Cave Loop. Skull Cave (580 ft / 177 m) The wide open feel of this cave makes it an excellent choice for those who do not like tight closed-in spaces. It is a remnant of three very large lava tubes, one on top of the other. This allows cold winter air to be trapped inside and create a year-round ice floor on the lower level, accessible via a smooth trail, down a metal stairway to a platform. It is named for the bones of pronghorn, bighorn sheep, and two human skeletons discovered inside. ▲ Moderatly Challenging These caves may involve stooping through low sections and/or rough floors. Additional protective gear is recommended for the more difficult spots. Golden Dome Cave (2,229 ft / 679 m) Beware of “headache rock” when entering and exiting the cave via the ladder. The downstream portion of this cave (heading north) requires some stooping. The back section where the “Golden Dome” is located is a figure-8; take note of your location so you don’t go around in circles. The golden ceiling in this and many other caves here are the result of light reflecting off water droplets that bead up on a coating of hydrophobic bacteria. The bacteria are not harmful to humans but are easily damaged, so please do not touch. The upstream portions of this cave require more stooping and some crawling. Sunshine Cave (466 ft / 142 m) Two collapses allow sunlight to enter the cave where abundant vegetation grows. Stooping is required in the main passage, and the back section has floors that are steep, very rough and sometimes wet. Beautiful hydrophobic bacteria coats the ceiling at the back of this cave, where winter icicles adorn cracks in the ceiling. Balcony Cave (2,903 ft / 885 m) and Boulevard Cave (759 ft / 231 m) These caves have sections of low ceilings, and an optional crawl up onto a balcony created by changing lava flow levels. The “boulevard” was named for the smooth floor created by a lava cascade. Merrill Cave (650 ft / 198 m) Visitors once ice skated by lantern light on an enormous ice floor at the bottom of this cave. Changing air flow patterns are the suspected cause of melting. Today you may see small ice remnants from a viewing platform at the bottom of a stairway. Heppe Cave (170 ft / 52 m) A .4 mile walk will take you to this tall twilight-lit cave. In some years you might find a small pool of water; this water can be an important water source for wildlife as there is no surface water in Lava Beds. Big Painted Cave ( 266 ft / 81 m) and Symbol Bridge (148 ft / 45 m) Irreplaceable historic Native American pictographs adorn the entrance areas of these two short caves, look closely to find the pictographs as they blend in with the rock. An easy 0.75 mi (1.21 km) hike is required to reach them. Ovis Cave (216 ft / 66 m) and Paradise Alleys (1,033 ft / 315 m) Ovis cave contained 36 bighorn skulls when it was discovered in the 1890’s. In Ovis ceiling heights exceed 25 ft (7.6 m), and some outside light is visible throughout. Paradise Alleys has smooth floors and ceiling hights exceeding 7ft (2m) are found throughout this cave. ■ Most Challenging These caves have some portions which require crawling. Helmets, kneepads and gloves are a must in these areas. They are also more directionally challenging. Purchasing maps is highly recommended! Labyrinth Cave (1,239 ft / 378 m) and Lava Brook Cave (859 ft / 262 m) These caves near the Visitor Center are connected by a twisting segment requiring crawling. Ceiling heights tend to be low throughout. As the name Labyrinth suggests you must pay attention to your route! The “Lava Brook” is an interesting pattern left on the floor of one passage by the last lava flow. As you travel through these caves be prepared to exit at one of three locations, the Labyrinth, Lava Brook or Thunderbolt entrances. Thunderbolt Cave (2,561 ft / 781 m) Crawling is required in the downstream portions of this cave where it connects to Labyrinth and Lava Brook Caves. Upstream (right) from the entrance are a few tight areas, one of which is 6 in (15 cm) wide at knee level. There is some stooping before the ceiling height allows walking upright. Hercules Leg Cave (1,948 ft / 594 m) and Juniper Cave (2,362 ft / 720 m) These two caves were connected by the removal of debris in a collapse pit, and together make one long excursion
Lava Beds National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Lava Beds National Monument Lava Beds Trails Hiking at Lava Beds The Short Trails Lava Beds has twelve hiking trails. The most popular trails are short, but lead to interesting historic sites and geological features. Due to resource concerns, pets and bicycles are not permitted on any park trails, on in non-developed area or caves. All trails cross or enter the non-developed backcountry, while the long trails are primarily in designated wilderness areas. The trails in this bulletin are arranged by their distance from the visitor center. Carry plenty of water regardless of trail length—no surface water exists at Lava Beds. Watch for rattlesnakes and wear sunscreen and a hat in summer. Be prepared for sudden weather changes any time of year. Bunchgrass Trail Start across from Site B-7 in the campground. Follow along the northeast side of Crescent Butte to the park road. Approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) long. fine pictographs at the bridge and cave. Take the Skull Cave road to the first parking area and trailhead. Across the road from the Symbol Bridge Trail, you will find the Missing Link Trail. Missing Link Trail This trail links the Three Sisters Trail to the Bunchgrass Trail, creating a 10-mile (16km) loop. Missing Link begins on the Bunchgrass Trail about 0.5 miles (0.8 km) from B-Loop in the campground. Hike on the Missing Link Trail for 0.7 mile (1.1 km) to reach the Skull Cave road. The trail ends across from the trailhead for Symbol Bridge. Hike another 0.1 mile (0.16km) on the road to Skull Cave to reach the trailhead for Lyons/Three Sisters Trail. Thomas-Wright Battlefield Trail Volcanism and history are featured here. The hike onto Black Crater is less than 0.3 miles (0.5 km) by bearing right. The battlefield is 1.1 miles (1.8km) one way. View fine wildflower displays in season. Heppe Cave Trail Heppe Cave Trail can be found on the road to Mammoth Crater. This 0.4-mile (0.6 km) trail begins under tall Ponderosa pines. As you reach the end of the trail, you will view an enormous collapse. Follow the trail into Heppe Ice Cave that has a large opening at both ends. Gillem Bluff Trail This trail climbs 550 feet in elevation over 0.7 miles (1.1 km) to the top of Gillem Bluff (Sheepy Ridge), for a view of Gillems Camp and the surrounding landscape. Captain Jacks Stronghold Trail Two self-guiding interpretive trails wind through the heart of the Modoc’s wartime defenses. The inner loop is 0.5 miles (0.8 km), and the outer loop 1.5 miles (2.4 km). Be prepared for rough terrain. Big Nasty Trail A loop trail, Big Nasty is 2 miles (3.2 km) long. Named after a brush-covered rough lava area just to the north— “it is big and it is nasty!” From the Mammoth Crater/Hidden Valley pullout, the trail starts along the crater rim. Turn left from the Mammoth Crater Trail. Petroglyph Point Trail This very short trail begins on the east side of Petroglyph Point just beyond the bulletin board on the dirt road. The trailhead parking lot is on top of a short rise across from the trail entrance. Hike to the top to enjoy an impressive view of the basin and the Medicine Lake volcano. Schonchin Butte Trail This trail climbs 0.7 miles (1.4 km) to the fire lookout and a panoramic view. Trail has a 500 -foot elevation gain. You can be a guest of the lookout on duty in summer. Please stay on the designated trail and do not shortcut switchbacks. Please do not hike to the edge of the cliff to avoid disturbing nesting birds such as prairie falcons, redtailed hawks, and owls. Please do not attempt to hike to the top from the west side of Petroglph Point. A social trail there has caused severe erosion and passes too close to nesting sites. Symbol Bridge Trail Winding 0.8 miles (1.3 km) past interesting lava tube collapses and other features, this trail leads to many The Long Trails Three Sisters Trail Entered at the campground from A-Loop, this trail loops out into the wilderness and returns to the Skull Cave Road. It is 8.7 miles (14.0 km) long. Lyons Trail A former monument road, this trail crosses park wilderness from south to north between the Skull Cave parking area and Hospital Rock. It is 9.4 miles (15.2 km) long. Special Concerns in the Wilderness On October 13, 1972, 27,970 acres (11319 hectares) of the Lava Beds backcountry were designated as wilderness. Pets, bicycles, hunting, and motorized vehicles are not permitted in wilderness areas. Whitney Butte Trail From Merrill Cave parking area to the west boundary of the monument, this trail crosses the wilderness in an east-west direction, curving around Whitney Butte. Enjoy an impressive view of Mount Shasta and the Callahan Lava Flow. This trail is 3.3 miles (5.3 km) one way. the vicinity of chimneys is not permitted. Camping within 0.25 miles (0.4 km) of roads, trailheads, and parking areas is also prohibited. No person may camp in a nondeveloped or wilderness area with a group size of more than
National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Lava Beds Lava Beds National Monument The Geology of Lava Beds Why Is There Lava Here? Lava Beds National Monument protects a wide variety of well-preserved lava features resulting from many eruptions of the Medicine Lake shield volcano over the past 500,000 years—including cinder and spatter cones, ‘lava beds’, and almost 700 lava tube caves. These features result from a tectonic plate beneath the Pacific Ocean slowly sliding under the continental plate. As it dives deep into the earth, this oceanic plate melts into magma, which then rises to the surface as lava several hundred miles inland from the coast. The Medicine Lake volcano is one of many places where these eruptions occurred throughout the Cascade Range of volcanoes, which stretches from northern California into British Columbia. Medicine Lake is unique among Cascades volcanoes for its great surface area, as well as the wide variety of features left behind by eruptions of different characteristics and composition. These special places are yours to explore both here and throughout the surrounding area. Please remember that the unique geology of Lava Beds belongs to everyone, and rock collection is prohibited. Why Doesn’t It Look Like a Volcano? Lava Beds lies on the northern flank of the Medicine Lake volcano and covers only about 10 percent of its surface area. At approximately 150 mi (241 km) around the base, 7900 ft (2408 m) in height, and covering over 700 square mi (1125 km2), Medicine Lake is by far the largest volcano by volume in the Cascade Range. It is believed to have many small underground magma chambers rather then one large chamber. Eruptions from nearly 200 surface vents have created a volcano with a low, broad, gently sloping profile—like a shield. This profile built up over time by relatively mild eruptions of fluid lava flowing over large areas. The amount of gas and certain chemicals present in magma also contribute to the way a volcano erupts. Current eruptions on the Hawaiian islands are a good example of what the Medicine Lake volcano looked like as it formed. By contrast, composite, or strato-, volcanoes are what many people think of when they hear the term ‘volcano’. Familiar composite volcanoes of the Cascade Range include Mounts Shasta, Lassen, Mazama (Crater Lake), St. Helens, and Rainier. These volcanoes result from layers of lava and ash that pile up primarily around one central vent, creating the characteristic pointed cone. These eruptions are often violent, and may include the ejection of large amounts of ash, pyroclastic materials such as hot rocks, and even massive mudflows (lahars) if glaciers on a volcano’s peak melt quickly. Activity and Age The Medicine Lake volcano has erupted intermittently for approximately half a million years. The most recent flows of pumice and obsidian at Glass Mountain (south of Lava Beds in the Modoc National Forest) occurred less than 900 years ago. Since there have been no eruptions within historical times, and there are no signs that the volcano is getting ready to erupt soon, geologists consider Medicine Lake ‘dormant’. However, since the tectonic forces beneath all the Cascades volcanoes are still in motion, it is likely that there will be an eruption here again sometime in the future. Perhaps Native Americans watched as the volcano came alive here hundreds or thousands of years ago, and fountains of glowing rock fed rivers of fire that poured over the landscape. Perhaps future generations will witness this awesome spectacle again someday. thirty separate lava flows exposed at Lava Beds. Rocks visible within the Monument range from two million year old volcanic tuff at Gillem Bluff in the northwest corner, to basalt about 1100 years old at the Callahan Flow in the southwest corner. Multiple eruptions of liquid basalt that flowed from Mammoth and Modoc Craters (on the Monument’s southern boundary) between 30,000 and 40,000 years ago formed most of the lava tube caves here. This flow covers about 70 percent of the Monument. A different flow in the southeast corner of the park that emerged around 11,000 years ago was lower in viscosity and created smoothertextured caves, including Valentine Cave. Cinder cones, spatter cones, and other surface lava flows also appeared periodically between every few hundred and every few tens of thousands of years. Today you can see the hardened results of over Volcanic Features Lava Tube Caves A gentle slope and very fluid lava are required for the formation of lava tubes. Lava up to 2000° F (1093° C) flows downhill and immediately begins to cool and solidify upon contact with the ground and air. Lava touching the ground solidifies first, followed by the sides and then the top of the flow. This hard shell of cooled lava insulates the liquid rock inside, allowing it to flow long distances before it cools and comes to a stop. The lava continues to flow until it either drains out or sea
Lava Beds National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Lava Beds National Monument Fire at Lava Beds A New Look at Fire Wildland fire is one of the most powerful forces of nature and is often viewed as purely destructive. However, within the last few decades, scientific research has enlightened land managers to the ecological importance of fire in wild ecosystems. In wild areas such as Lava Beds, fire management is reintroducing fire to protect developed areas and restore ecosystem health. A Natural Process Periodic wildfires in the lava beds once burned away plant litter and undergrowth regularly. As a result, most fires crept along the ground and were not hot enough to do long-term damage to plant communities. Burning vegetation recycled nutrients into the soil. Wildfires also burned in a “mosaic” pattern, following fuel beds and natural barriers such as lava outcroppings. From the 1920’s to the late 1970’s, all fires at Lava Beds were suppressed. The belief was that all wildfire was “bad”. Natural fuels are now present in excessive amounts that can produce more intense wildfires. These fires are more difficult to control and pose a greater threat to life and property than periodic ground fires. The ponderosa pines along the monument’s southern boundary have thick bark when mature, and are generally resistant to periodic ground fires. However, aging shrubs now provide an abundance of “ladder fuels” that allow fire to climb higher into large trees and kill them. A Land Without Fire The lack of fire has also been detrimental to the plants of Lava Beds. The plant community of bitterbrush and other shrubs is now overgrown, with little new growth. New bitterbrush sprouts are a primary forage for the monument’s deer population. Patches of ground were cleared for new vegetation, providing nutritious browse for wildlife. Some older vegetation was left behind, providing adequate cover for small animals. The lack of periodic fire to burn away the understory has also inhibited the growth of new ponderosa pines. These trees require clear ground with minimal competion for nutrients and sunlight in order to reproduce. Fire Management At Lava Beds The National Park Service recognizes that natural forces should be the primary influences on park ecosystems. The fire management program at Lava Beds is actively engaged in reintroducing fire through two methods: wildland fire use and prescribed fire. Wildland Fire Use If weather conditions will permit lightning-ignited fire to burn at the proper intensity to benefit rather than damage natural resources, managers can allow fires to burn. If threats are too great, the fire will be suppressed entirely, or minimun suppression tactics may be used to contain the fire within safe boundaries. Safety For More Information Public safety and the protection of property and important natural and cultural resources are the top priorities of the fire management program. Fire personnel monitor weather and fuel conditions to predict how a fire is going to behave. Fire personnel then determine whether it is safe to ignite a prescribed burn or manage a lightning-caused fire for ecosystem health as a wildland fire use project. When safety and resource benefits are in question, all natural fires are suppressed and prescribed fire projects postponed. If you have any questions or would like more information about the fire management program at Lava Beds, please visit the Fire Management Office in the headquarters area, or contact the office by phone at 530-667-8122. If you would like to visit one of the areas where fire has been reintroduced, we would be happy to assist you. Thank you for your support as we bring the natural process of fire back to Lava Beds. EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA Prescribed Fire It is difficult for nature to catch up with fifty years of fire suppression. For this reason, fire management personnel prescribe fire to treat unhealthy landscapes, just like a doctor prescribes medication to treat illnesses. Under strict weather and fuel conditions, managers selectively ignite areas in an effort to reduce heavy fuel loads and reintroduce fire. Reduction of fuels helps managers control future wildfires and protect life and property. The monument’s boundaries and developed areas are primary targets for prescribed fire. All human-caused fires in the monument are suppressed. Please do not leave your campfire unattended or smoke while walking on trails; even accidental human-caused fires can carry significant fines. During a fire, you may encounter smoke and temporary trail closures. We urge you to obey all warning signs for your safety and the safety of fire personnel.
Lava Beds National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior 3 Lava Beds National Monument Bats Bats at Lava Beds Behavior Fourteen different species of bats inhabit Lava Beds National Monument. They all belong to the sub-order Microchiroptera, and seven of these belong to the genus Myotis. All eat insects and the majority live inside caves, although a few species dwell in trees or buildings. The most studied bat species within the monument are Townsend’s big-eared bats (Corynorhinus townsendii) and Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis). Echolocation Cave-dwelling bats leave their roosts as early as two hours before sundown to search for insects using echolocation, and return at sunrise. High frequency sound waves are produced by the vocal cords and reflect off objects in their path. The reflected waves returning to the bat’s ear. This allows the bat to determine the size of prey and their distance from other objects such as buildings, people and cave entrances. Hibernation or Migration? Most of the Lava Beds bats, including Townsend’s bigeared bat, hibernate during the winter. During hibernation, the bat’s internal body temperature is reduced to near freezing. Some of the bats living within the monument hibernate in clusters inside the caves. The Benefits Pest Control Bats in the vicinity of Lava Beds are insectivores, and their feeding habits help to keep insect populations low. One adult Small-Footed Myotis Bat is capable of eating up to six hundred mosquitoes in an hour. Townsend’s Big-eared Bats consume moths, and the Pallid Bat occasionally eats scorpions. One way to determine if moth-eating bats have been in an area is to look at the ground or cave floor. They eat only the soft body parts of insects and leave the wings. Brazilian free-tailed bat, a summer resident at Lava Beds, is active throughout the year and migrates to warmer climates in central and southern California and northern Mexico in winter. Reproduction Delayed fertilization is common in both hibernating and migrating bat species. Mating occurrs in late fall, and the female stores sperm until ovulation occurs the next spring. Colonies are formed during the summer maternal season, and consist only of females and pups. In some species , densities in maternal colonies exceed five hundred pups per square foot! In other parts of the United States and throughout the world, bats also feed upon pollen and nectar. Bats move pollen from one plant or flower to another and fertilization occurs. Saguaro, peaches, figs, agave, and wild bananas are just a few fruits which require pollination by bats. Pollination Please Be Bat-Friendly Bats are very sensitive to human disturbance. In summer they may vacate an area, abandoning pups before they are able to care for themselves. It is for this reason that some of our caves are closed during the summer season when maternal colonies are present. In winter, hibernating bats can waste precious body fat when they warm themselves up to respond to a disturbance, and can die as a result. What To Do If You See Bats Keep lights down. Bats are nocturnal and are accustomed to the dark. A bright light can be disturbing. Be as quiet as possible. Talking in a low voice is better EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA than whispering, and try not to shuffle your feet. Bats are disturbed by a wide range of noises humans can’t hear. Leave the area immediately, and report the sighting to the visitor center or a ranger. We will want information regarding the colony, including the cave name and the approximate number of bats. Rangers may ask you to point out the location on a cave map. Thank you for helping protect these fascinating and important creatures!
Lava Beds National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Lava Beds National Monument Birds of Lava Beds Occurrences Symbol Key Order 1 2 3 4 5 Aquatic or Marsh Habitat (Tule Lake) Pine Forests (Mammoth Crater) Sagebrush-Grasslands (Capt. Jacks Stronghold) Brushlands (Campground/Visitor Center) Petroglyph Point Northern Flicker P S W M Permanent Resident Summer Resident Winter Resident Migrant R Rare I Irregular Visitor ? Hypothetical (Report if observed) * Introduced Family Common name ......................................Genus species ............................... Occurences Gaviiformes Gaviidae (Loons) Common Loon .............................................. Gavia immer ......................................... 1:S Piciformes Picidae (Woodpeckers) Lewis’ Woodpecker ...................................... Melanerpes lewis .................................. 1,4:P:I Williamson’s Sapsucker................................ Sphyrapicus thyroideus......................... 2:P:R Red Breasted Sapsucker................................ Sphyrapicus varius ............................... 2,4:P Yellow-bellied Sapsucker ............................. Sphyrapicus varius ............................... 2,4:I Downy Woodpecker ..................................... Picoides pubescens ............................... 4:P Hairy Woodpecker ........................................ Picoides villosus ................................... 2:P Black-backed Woodpecker ........................... Picoides arcticus .................................. 2:P:R White-headed Woodpecker ........................... Picoides albolarvatus ........................... 2:P Northern Flicker............................................ Colaptes auratus................................... 2,3,4:P Pileated Woodpecker .................................... Dryocopus pileatus............................... 2:I Pelicaniformes Pelecanidae (Pelicans) American White Pelican ............................... Pelecanus erythrorhynchos .................. 1:S Phalacrocoracidae (Cormorants) Double-crested Cormorant ............................ Phalacrocorax auritus.......................... 1:S Ciconiiformes Ardeidae (Herons) American Bittern........................................... Botaurus lentiginosus ........................... 1:P Least Bittern.................................................. Ixobrychus exilis................................... 1:S:R Great Blue Heron .......................................... Ardea Herodias .................................... 1:P Great Egret.................................................... Ardea alba ............................................ 1:P Snowy Egret.................................................. Egretta thula......................................... 1:S Green Heron.................................................. Butorides virescens............................... 1:S Black-crowned Night-heron.......................... Nycticorax nycticorax........................... 1:P Threskiornithidae (Ibises) White-faced Ibis............................................ Plegadis chihi ....................................... 1: Anseriformes Anatidae (Waterfowl) Tribe Cygnini (Swans) Tundra Swan ................................................. Cygnus columbianus............................. 1:W Tribe Anserini (Geese) Canada Goose ............................................... Branta canadensis ................................ 1:P Greater White-fronted Goose ........................ Anser albifrons ..................................... 1:M,W Emperor Goose ............................................. Chen canagica...................................... 1:M:R Ross’ Goose .................................................. Chen rossii............................................ 1:M:R Snow Goose .................................................. Chen caerulescens ................................ 1:M,W Tribe Cairinini (Wood Duck) Wood Duck ................................................. Aix sponsa............................................. 1:S,M Tribe Anatini (Surface-feeding Ducks) Mallard.......................................................... Anas platyrhynchos .............................. 1:P Gadwall......................................................... Anas strepera........................................ 1:P Northern Pintail............................................. Anas acuta ............................................ 1:P American Widgeon ....................................... Anas americana .................................... 1:M,W Northern Shoveler ......................................... Anas clypeata ....................................... 1:P Cinnamon Teal.............................................. Anas cyanoptera ................................... 1:S,M Blue-winged Teal.......................................... Anas discors ......................................... 1:
Lava Beds National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Lava Beds National Monument Amphibians and Reptiles of Lava Beds Step Carefully Reptiles Lava Beds Reptiles Iquanidae (Fence Lizards)   Anguidae (Glass Lizards)  Scincidae (Skinks)  Boidae (Boas)  Colubridae (Colubrids)       Crotalidae (Rattlesnakes)  Amphibians Frogs and Toads Amphibians at Lava Beds   E X P E R I E N CE Y O U R AM E R I C A ™
Ppla Lava Beds National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Lava Beds National Monument Plants of Lava Beds Species List This list is compiled from our specimens in our museum collections and should not be considered complete. Collections were made in the 1930’s, 1940’s, 1960’s and 1979. Some plants may no longer occur here and there may be plants here now that were not when the collections were made. * Denotes an introduced species. Pteridaceae (Brake) Maidenhair fern .................................................................... Adiantum capillus-veneris Lace lipfern........................................................................... Cheilanthes gracillima Goldenback fern ................................................................... Pentagramma triangularis Amaranthaceae (Amaranth) Prostrate amaranth ................................................................ Amaranthus blitoides Slim amaranth*..................................................................... Amaranthus hybridus Powell’s amaranth ................................................................ Amaranthus powellii Redroot amaranth* ............................................................... Amarnathus retroflexus Apiaceae (Parsley) Butte desertparsley ............................................................... Lomatium marginatum Nevada biscuitroot................................................................ Lomatium nevadense Nineleaf biscuitroot .............................................................. Lomatium triternatum Apocynaceae (Dogbane) Indian hemp .......................................................................... Apocynum cannabinum Sacramento waxydogbane .................................................... Cycladenia humilis Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed) Narrow-leaved milkweed...................................................... Asclepias fascicularis Dryopteridaceae (Wood Fern) Brittle bladderfern................................................................. Cystopteris fragilis Coastal woodfern.................................................................. Dryopteris arguta Spreading woodfern.............................................................. Dryopteris expansa Western swordfern................................................................ Polystichum munitum Oregon clifffern .................................................................... Woodsia oregana Rocky Mountain woodsia ..................................................... Woodsia scopulina Asteraceae (Sunflower) Common yarrow ................................................................... Achillea millefolium Western snakeroot ................................................................ Ageratina occidentalis False dandelion..................................................................... Agoseris glauca lanciniata Bigflower agoseris................................................................ Agoseris grandiflora Western ragweed .................................................................. Ambrosia psilostachya Low pussytoes ...................................................................... Antenneria dimorpha Pinewoods pussytoes ............................................................ Antennaria geyeri Littleleaf pussytoes ............................................................... Antennaria microphylla Rosy pussytoes ..................................................................... Antennaria rosea Stinking chamomile* ............................................................ Anthemis cotula Little sagebrush..................................................................... Artemesia arbuscula Big sagebrush ....................................................................... Artemesia tridentata Arrowleaf balsamroot ........................................................... Balsamorhiza sagittata Rough eyelashweed .............................................................. Blepharipappus scaber Yellow star thistle*............................................................... Centaurea solstitialis Douglas’ Dustymaiden ......................................................... Chaenactis douglasii Yellow rabbitbrush ............................................................... Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus viscidiflorus Canada thistle* ..................................................................... Cirsium arvense Bull thistle* .......................................................................... Cirsium vulgare Canadian horseweed ............................................................. Conyza canadensis Tapertip hawksbeard............................................................. Crepis acuminata Baker’s hawksbeard.............................................................. Crepis bakeri Largeflower hawksbeard ...................................................... Crepis occidentalis Gray doublet ..
Lava Beds National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Lava Beds National Monument Mammals of Lava Beds NPS Badger Mammals Squirrels Lava Beds National Monument has over 50 species of mammals, fourteen of which are bats. Pay close attention, and you may see them while caving, hiking, or driving the monument’s roads. This brochure describes and compares a few of the species commonly observed in the monument. If you are lucky enough to see any of these animals, please share the Monument with them, but don’t share your lunch! Belding’s Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus beldingi) The Belding’s ground squirrel is reddish-brown with a short, slim, black-tipped tail and small ears. Their seven-to-eight month hibernation period makes them one of the longest-hibernating mammals in North America, so you are unlikely to see them early or late in the year. Look for these mammals burrowing in the grasslands at the northern end of the monument and around Petroglyph Point. California Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus beecheyi) A bushy tail, gray and black coloring, and light gray “shoulder pads,” are characteristics of the California ground squirrel. You may see them during the day perched on large rocks and shrubs, or scampering through the brush. The California ground squirrel has evolved an unusual method for deterring western rattlesnakes, which are among their main predators. When threatened by a rattlesnake, the squirrels raise the temperature of their tails and shake them back and forth vigorously. Rattlesnakes hunt primarily with infrared vision, so this tail signal shows the snake that the squirrel is well aware of its presence and ready to dodge a strike. The snake will likely leave a tail-waving squirrel alone in favor of more vulnerable prey. Rabbits, Pika, and Hares Pika (Ochotona princeps) Slightly larger than a hamster, the pika has short, rounded ears and no visible tail. They can be found in the rocky areas of the monument such as the lava fields and the areas around caves. In preparation for winter, pikas make their own hay by collecting summer plants and storing them beneath the rocks to dry. Unfortunately, a warming climate may be adversely affecting pikas, and it is a rare treat to see one in the park. Over 100 sites in Lava Beds are currently being monitored for pikas, so if you do see one of these elusive creatures during your visit, please inform monument staff. Mountain Cottontail (Sylvilagus nuttallii) Pika Mountain cottontails are often seen nibbling sagebrush plants along roads and in the campground. They have a color similar to that of pikas, but they tend to be larger with long hind legs, upright ears, and a fluffy white tail. Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) Much larger than mountain cottontails are black-tailed jackrabbits which are also found throughout Lava Beds. These rabbits are easily identified by their enormous, upright ears which they use to stay cool during the hot summers. Jackrabbits can also be distinguished from mountain cottontails by the black markings on their ears and the upper side of their tails. Deer and Pronghorn Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus) There are many small herds of mule deer that roam the park, foraging on the shrubs and herbaceous plants found throughout the monument. During the summer, males can easily be distinguished from females by their large antlers which they use to fight for mates during the fall breeding season. Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) Pronghorns are an unusual sight, but they are sometimes seen in the grasslands at the northern end of the monument. They can be distinguished from mule deer by their smaller size, dark horns, and the distinct white patches on their bellies and throats. Pronghorn are the fastest land mammal in the Western Hemisphere, and have been known to run at speeds up to 62 miles per hour (100 km per hour). Cats Bobcat (Lynx rufus) Territorial and largely solitary, bobcats can occasionally be seen along roadsides as they hunt for rabbits in the park. These cats are twice the size of a housecat with excellent climbing skills and sharp hearing. Their coat is gray or brown with black spots, and they have tufted ears and a round, stubby tail which is the bobcat’s namesake. Mountain Lion (Felis concolor) Mountain Lion Keeping Track Due to their shy nature, it is rare to see mountain lions at Lava Beds, but a few do call the monument home. With plenty of deer for prey, Lava Beds is a perfect habitat for these wild cats, which are the largest in North America. Their long tail and tawny coat distinguish them from the smaller bobcat. If you see a mountain lion during your visit, try to be as intimidating as possible. Shout, wave your arms, and back away slowly. Convince the lion that you are not prey! Put your observation skills to the test! Use the list below to keep track of the mammals you see during your stay at Lava Beds. Stop by the visitor center to share your finds and to get more information

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