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Lava Beds National Monument

Volcanoes, lakes, lava beds, and calderas

Mount Shasta

In a land, not so far away, are majestic snow covered volcanoes, immense lava beds filled with tortured rock shapes, deep frozen caves formed from lava tubes, towering cinder cones scarcely covered in flora, and enormous calderas fashioned by the collapse of whole mountains. This land is the realm of Klamath Falls in Oregon and is only five and a half hours drive away from Oakland.

It is a big trip, but this is a trip of a lifetime. Before you cross the northern most border of the Golden State, you will arrive at the Lava Beds National Monument. Here the imposing Mount Shasta is your backdrop. Before you, framed by colossal escarpments and burnt-out cinder cones, are numerous fields of frozen lava. The place is a monument to massive pyroclastic gushes from 3,000-year-old volcanism and to the last stand of the Modoc Native Americas.

Lava Beds National Monument

At the sleepy little town of Klamath Falls you will be able to walk around the stupendous Upper Klamath Lake and wonder about trails frequented with turtles, water snakes, red winged black birds, red tailed hawks, grebes, pelicans, egrets, and many other birds and animals.

Crater Lake National Park

Imagine a 14,000-foot mountain, snow capped and majestic. It sat for millennia reaching up to the sky. Then visualize it exploding with pyroclastic fury and collapsing downward into an enormous caldera beneath the massive peak. If you can envisage this then you have realized Crater Lake National Park. Today the purest water fills the enormous carter left by this incredible event endowing the lake with a cobalt blue color. Late into the summer Cater Lake is snowbound and cold, so take warm clothes when you visit. If you do not visit it, you are depriving yourself an experience of a lifetime. Make the effort and drive to this mysterious ancient place, this land of majestic snow covered volcanoes, lava beds, caves, towering cinder cones, and enormous calderas; this realm of Klamath Falls in Oregon.


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