LBNM: Crystal Ice Cave [1]
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Panoramic photo by pix EXPERT Taken 15:20, 28/01/2012 - Views loading...

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LBNM: Crystal Ice Cave [1]

The World > North America > USA > California > Lava Beds National Monument

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Crystal Ice Cave is a multi-level lava tube located within Lava Beds National Monument outside Tulelake, California.  It is best known for its vast array of unique ice formations & floors, w/ some features over 30' in height.  This view is in the lower level of the cave near the Blue Glacier Room.  The large ice draperies in this section are about 15' in height.  The crystal-clear ice stalagmites growing from the floor look like alien eggs, a couple feet in height.  The cave remains roughly between 15 & 32*F inside.

Because this cave is still used for scientific research & contains a rich beauty of formations that is unlike many other caves in the vicinity, its location is kept secret from the general public (I have incorrectly placed it on the map for that reason).  This cave is open for tours during Winter months & is limited to six people per tour (plus the park ranger guide).  I'd strongly recommend signing up for a tour if you are able, though spaces are competitive.

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Nearby images in Lava Beds National Monument

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A: LBNM: Crystal Ice Cave [2]

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I: LBNM: Labyrinth Cave entrance

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J: LBNM: Labyrinth Cave (Jupiter's Thunderbolt)

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This panorama was taken in Lava Beds National Monument

This is an overview of Lava Beds National Monument

Lava Beds National Monument is located near the city of Tulelake, California in Siskiyou & Modoc Counties.  It lies at the northern flank of the Medicine Lake Caldera to the south.  It was established in 1925 & houses a variety of volcanic features, faults, caves, history, & archaological sites.Much of the northern part of the monument contains history of prehistoric use of the area.  Pictographs & petroglyphs can be found inscribed on rocks at nearby cliffs and caves.  The Modoc War (1872-1873) was fought at Captain Jacks Stronghold, an effort for Modoc Indians to protect their territory from US army forces.The southern part is known for its caves, craters, and lava flows.  The Cave Loop is a popular area to explore several main caves in the park.  These caves are known as lava tubes & contain unique features such as lava shelves, lavacicles, skylights, cupolas, aa & pahoehoe floors, as well as narrow passages short enough one has to crawl through.  Make sure to have a flashlight, a hard hat, & knee pads when exploring.  Some caves even have ice formations & one cave, Mushpot Cave, has a lighted pathway & interactive signs.  The longest lava tube in California, Catacombs Cave, is located in the monument along the Cave Loop.The area is situated in a semi-arid environment w/ a juniper and sagebrush setting.  The wildlife is abundant w/ plenty of bird species in nearby Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge to the north.  Views of Mt. Shasta to the southwest, the Warner Mountains to the east, & a good portion of the Klamath Basin & Southern Oregon to the north make this area a picturesque location.  One campground is located in the park near the visitor center, but is limited in spaces.Being relatively small in size compared to other parks in the USA, there is plenty to see above ground & underground.

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