Amazing, just an amazing adventure! We visited the Lava Beds National Monument as part of our fall, 2015 California Redwoods road trip. This part of the Volcanic Circle there and it is amazing! The area is beautiful and the lava beds just stretch out.
This was our first introduction to lava tubes that we were able to go into and hike. There is one cave (tube) that has some lights and you can take a tour there. But all the others are pitch black! You need to take at least 2 flashlights or major light source into those. You can get a flash light at the visitor center and we picked up a couple along with ours that we had with us. Hiking through most of these tubes require you to be careful in placing your feet as the floors are very rough and the rocks are sharp if you fall on them. (They are lava rocks.) We had a great time! On these caving adventures you are on your own, no rangers are in these to help you along or get back if your light source quits working…
We also visited the Petroglyph Point while in this area. Amazing, Amazing and Amazing. On the way to visit we passed a bird nature area (this alone insures that I will return) and there were hundreds and hundreds of Yellow-headed black birds there. That was the most Yellow-headed blackbirds I had ever seen before. And me without my long birding lenses with me!
We plan to return with our camper and enjoy these areas now that we are retired.