HIGHWAY 5 NORTH
●LAVA BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT
From Lassen Volcanic National Park, go north on Highway 89 to Highway 299. Continue north on Highway 139, taking it through sparsely populated forest and farmland. The monument is approximately 115 miles northeast of Mt. Shasta City/Highway 5, and 375 miles northeast of San Francisco.
This 46,000-acre national monument is located in the middle of nowhere. It has a campground, but the nearest motels and restaurants are far away in Tulelake. There is nowhere to buy food within many miles of the monument, so it is a good idea to pack-in picnic supplies. In fact, this could be where the expression "out in the tules" originated. The area also buzzes with insects, is a haven for rattlesnakes, and sometimes has plague warnings posted. Still, it is an unusual place that is well worth a visit.
The Visitors Center at the southern entrance offers a good orientation. Historically, this area was the site of the 1872 Modoc War--the only major Indian war fought in California. Geologically, the area is of interest because of its concentration of lava tube caves.
Park admission is $10 per vehicle.