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Indian Well Cave Trail

Intermediate
 4.0 (1)

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Map Key

0.1

Miles

0.1

KM

100%

Runnable

4,765' 1,452 m

High

4,761' 1,451 m

Low

4' 1 m

Up

5' 1 m

Down

3%

Avg Grade (2°)

3%

Max Grade (2°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Cave

You must first obtain a White-Nose Syndrome Screening Pass from the rangers at the visitor center before entering any caves.

Individual caves are often closed during some portions of the year to allow bats a place to nest and care for their young.

Description

The trailhead is located at a parking area just south of the road leading to Indian Well Campground.

The trail itself is easy to follow and leads from the parking area into the cave and to a small platform at the bottom of a stairway. The height of the cave is impressive at this platform. On the east side of the platform is a small alcove that once contained water. This alcove is the "well" for which the cave is named. Modocs, and possibly their ancestors, used the cave as a water source for their camps located on Indian Well flat, which is where the visitor center is now located. Writing used to adorn some of the rocks at the entrance to the cave pointing to the water below.

The trail ends at the platform, however, it is possible to continue through the cave and up a steep rocky incline to small opening at the other end of the cave. The small opening leads to a round, collapsed portion of the lava tube. It is possible to climb out of this collapse and follow a trail back to the parking area and trailhead. However, at the end of the collapse is another opening that leads to a very short segment of cave.

The book "Lava Beds Caves" by Charlie & Jo Larson is an excellent resource and guide for exploring the caves of Lava Beds NM. It is available for purchase at the Visitor Center.

Contacts

Shared By:

QuinTCM TCM

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#15531

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Trail Rankings

#1,664

in California

#15,531

Overall
6 Views Last Month
164 Since Sep 4, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

Indian Well Cave Silhouette, Lava Beds National Monument
Oct 19, 2015 near Tulelake, CA

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