Lava Beds National Monument with Kids

lava beds national monumentGoing to The Lava Beds National Monument was an unplanned detour for us and one we were happy to have made the time for.  After spending the night in Klamath Falls, OR we were gassing up at the local Albertsons gas station when the friendly attendant suggested we check out Lava Beds on our way to Lake Tahoe.

Since there was no hurry for us to get to Tahoe, we decided to take his word for it and headed for the Lava Beds on the way.  What a GREAT stop it was.

lava beds national monument

lava beds caves

Lava Beds Highlights:

  • Energetic, helpful rangers
  • Short distance from Klamath Falls, OR
  • Relatively close to Crater Lake National Park
  • Unusual terrain
  • The kids loved it!
  • Great visitors center with Native American, US History, and Geological RoadSchooling opportunities
  • Caves for different ages and ability
  • Junior Ranger Program
  • Easy hiking paths
  • Great for bicycling on the park roads

kids at lava beds national monument

 Tips for Visiting The Lava Beds National Monument with kids:

  1. If you plan on doing some serious exploring in the caves bring you own helmets so you don’t have to purchase them there
  2. Make sure to borrow flashlights at the Visitors Center
  3. Pack a lunch so you can stay for the day- there is so much to do!
  4. The caves are chilly so bring long sleeves for layering- even in the summer
  5. Ask about the Junior Ranger Program at the front desk.  Its basically Road Schooling curriculum handed to you for FREE. The kids will be excited about learning when they know they are earning a certificate and badge!

Next time we are in the area, we will definitely make sure to give ourselves plenty of time to explore the different caves at Lava Beds National Monument.  We really just scratched the surface in our short time there.  I think the time was appropriate for the ages of our kids but as they get older it would be nice to give ourselves more time to explore below the surface of the earth!

Emily Eck Home Sweet Road

About Emily Oak

I am a Mother, a Lover, a Traveler, Entrepreneur and Blogger. I crave adventure, appreciate good leather, find old weathered wood beautiful, prefer french pressed coffee, and feel alive running in the rain (albeit at a snails pace)! I believe in living passionately, loving extravagantly, taking risks, forgiving often, and living for the audience of One. I am an introvert but you wouldn’t know that if you met me. I LOVE people.


  1. I have never even heard of the lava beds but it seems like a cool place to go. Were there any cave tours for little kids? Thanks for all the information you provide on your website. It is really helpful. Now I want to pack up my family and go somewhere!!

    • Hi Alicia! Yes, there is plenty of cave exploration for all ages. If you have small children you may want to stick to the cave just near the visitors center. It is a easy little hike underneath the ground and even has some lighting installed to keep it nice and safe. If your kids are a little older you will want to check their website and research what cave/caves you’ll want to visit while you are there. This link should get you started!
      Hope that helps!

  2. Anna Jobs says

    You took the your littlest one down into one of the caves? Wow, she is brave. How did she do? I always think that we have to wait until or baby is much older before we can do things like this!

    • Hi Anna! You know the cave we took her to was pretty short. It is set up for people who wouldn’t be able to go deep down into the earth or be confined in tight spaces. It is well lit, she felt safe and did great. I always thought that my kids were too little for some of this stuff to, but what I found is that they actually enjoy it and rise to the occasion. You may be surprised what your kiddos are ready for:) Good luck and let me know if there is any way I can help!

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