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Scenic mountain and river landscapes get a lot of (deserved) attention, but there’s something truly unique about exploring a cave! Much of the landscape north and east of Redding was created by volcanic activity; the exterior layers of massive rivers of molten lava cooled and hardened, while the hot liquid interiors continued to flow, leaving hollow, empty tubes. Because of this, many lava tubes are scattered throughout the region and the caves within generally lie unnoticed until a portion of the roof erodes, leaving an entrance. Fortunately for explorers like you, there are several caves open to the public!

The most famous in northern California are the Lake Shasta Caverns, open year round and offering no shortage of wonder. The Subway Caves in nearby Old Station are 1,300 feet long and are easy to explore, and Lava Beds National Monument is home to more than 700 caves! As with any off-road traveling experience, please tread lightly and bring a flashlight, comfortable shoes, and a light jacket. A hard hat or climbing helmet, applicable permits, maps and brochures, and a first aid kit are recommended for certain expeditions, so plan ahead before you go underground!

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Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark
A trip to Shasta Caverns is ‘Three Adventures in One!’ Enjoy a scenic catamaran cruise across Shasta Lake, a fun bus ride to the cave entrance, and an information-filled tour of what some geologists consider one of the most beautiful limestone caves in the USA! More Information
20359 Shasta Caverns Road
Lakehead, CA 96051
(530) 238-2341
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Lassen Volcanic National Park
Less than an hour's drive from Redding sits beautiful Lassen Volcanic National Park. The park boasts incredible mountain scenery reminiscent of Yosemite as well as fascinating thermal wonders similar to Yellowstone with just a small fraction of the visitors. Lassen offers three of the four different types of geothermal features, including steam vents, mud pots, and hot springs; all four types of volcanoes (shield, plug dome, cinder cone, and composite); and all types of naturally occurring lakes! Near Lassen Peak,… More Information
Hwy 36E
Mineral, CA 96063
(530) 595-4480
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Lava Beds National Monument
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 700 caves, Native American rock art sites, historic battlefields and campsites, and a high desert wilderness experience await you! More Information
1 Indian Well Headquarters
Tulelake, CA 96134
(530) 667-8100
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Subway Cave
Subway Cave is an unusually easy lava tube to explore at 1,300 feet (1/3 mile) long, ample headroom, and a rubble-free floor. The U.S. Forest Service has installed concrete stairs, a trail from the parking lot, and interpretive signs explaining the origins of the cave. This is the largest accessible tube in this flow. Temperatures remain at about 46F year-round. Be sure to take a light jacket and a flashlight. More Information
Hwy 89/Hwy 44
Old Station, CA 96071
(530) 336-5521
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