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A bike ride across the Sundial Bridge in Redding, Ca
Marcel Siegle
A bike ride across the Sundial Bridge in Redding, Ca
Marcel Siegle

Have You Been Spelunking Lately?

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
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… More Information
1 Indian Well Headquarters,
Tulelake, CA
Subway Cave
Subway Cave is an unusually easy lava tube to explore, at 1,300 feet (1/3 mile) long, and with 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… More Information
Hwy 89/Hwy 44,
Old Station, CA

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