Explore the most popular walking trails near Tulelake with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Very interesting volcanic formations and extremely interesting history. Trail is very rocky and rough! If I had know that I would have taken my treking poles. As a senior citizen I sometimes had trouble getting a good footing. Good, sturdy shoes/boots a must

Short well-maintained trail that leads to the fire lookout on top. Trail is uphill, but plenty of spots to take a break if needed. Well worth the views at the top.

3 months ago

A short hike with spectacular views at the end of the trail or the top of the Crater. Along the path you will see a tree trunk consumed by lava and frozen in time!

A steep out and back trail. Great views of the surrounding area and a history lesson once you reach the top. The petroglyphs are near by, be sure to get a guide out of the metal box that explains the petroglyphs at each numbered stake.

fun little trail!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Really good trail! Gives great views of lava features and views of the nearby national forest. You'll see lots of lizards and birds. The footing is mainly pea gravel and large pore pummus stone. I'm an avid barefooter but I had to toss on my sandals about 1/2 mile into the hike, the wide pores on the pummus stone have worn down sharp in many places, so be careful with hand and foot holds! On your way out definitely stop in the Heppe Ice Cave to cool off! It's on your way out of the access road from the trailhead.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

loved glass mountain wth kiddos a great birthday surprise for my son turning ten! super heat coming off glass stunning views

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

nice short hike. the views are very nice from the top of the crater.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

short but great view of mountains, cinder cones, lakes.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

nice short loop, flowers were good

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Great hike. When I worked at Lava Beds it was my after work hike many evenings

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Very good long hike in Lava Beds. Gets you more out into the wilderness than the other hikes in the Monument

Friday, June 02, 2017

Lots of mosquitos. Some breeze but not enough to cool down or blow away bugs. Full sun the entire hike. The trail doesn't actually go to the top of the butte but skirts to the north and west, which was disappointing to me as I wanted to sit in a nice breeze and enjoy a view. But due to Lava Beds being famous for snakes, I didn't want to bushwhack up the thing and risk a snake encounter, so I just reversed direction and headed back quickly to not get eaten alive by the bugs. There were some very pretty wildflowers and several meadowlarks.

Spectacular if for no other reason than the history of the place. Be prepared if you are a flag waving white man because this is just one of many places across the continent that we committed murder and genocide. The history of this place is intense as you walk around. Be sure to pick up a trail guide for $1 at the trailhead parking lot.

Two options to visit this historical sites: an INNER loop (a bit under a mile) that goes through the inner defense positions of the Modoc indians warriors (as well as the "living quarters" for their family). This is a dense and intricate network of natural lava trenches, caves and rugged outcroppings. As others have noted, this is no "walk in the woods". There is a reason the Modocs were able to hold off the US Army for so long: this is not easy terrain to wander through. The inner trail (taken clockwise) rejoins the OUTER trail at the place when a makeshift memorial to the Modoc resistance has been erected.

the OUTER look follows the perimeter defenses of the Modocs, with more trenches and caves but, overall, with more of an open feel and may wide views of the plateau around the stronghold. I visited the site late on a slightly stormy June afternoon, all by myself, and the atmosphere of the area was at the same time utterly peaceful and yet loaded with the tragic history behind the Stronghold.

Good shoes/boots and good footing a must!

Note: If history brings you here, you probably know that, couple miles away you can also stop briefly at the site of General Canby's assassination.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A short hike -- under 1,5 miles round trip -- but with good rewards when you make it to the top: sweeping 360 degree views and, if you have time to visit with the ranger(s) at the lookout, a good opportunity to learn more about the area and the duties of those who man the lookout.

Considering the short distance of te hike, the close proximity to the Lava Beds Visitors Center, and the views from the top, this is a good option for anyone a bit pressed by time. The grade is, as expected when climbing a cinder cone, a bit sustained and will give a nice workout to older or slightly out of shape hikers. There are however 2 benches on the way up if you want to catch your breath while enjoying the views of the plateau and the lava flows.

The access is via a short and well maintained dirt road; any vehicle will make it to the small parking lot without problem. As others have mentioned, no facilities.

I went up in mid June and many wildflowers still provide a colorful counterpoint to the stark red rocks of the top, as the trail winds its way around the small summit crater. Many photo opportunities, of course.. or just a good invitation to sit down for a while and take in the beauty of this very special place.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Straightforward hike up the bluff. Nice vantage point of the northern part of the monument.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Spectacular views. Can even see Mount Shasta in the distance.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Can anyone provide an exact location for me to put in my gps for this?

Fun hike with kids. We have often enjoyed it on a nice day during the winter months.

Monday, June 29, 2015


Pretty cool trail! You can almost feel the history embedded in the niches in the rock formations as you walk through. Unbelievable views, as we had a beautiful, cool day to complete this loop. Might be a bit hard in the heat of the middle of summer, we just happened to luck out with some cool summer days while visiting the area.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Decided to do this hike as a quick stretch / vista view before a winter storm rolled in. It's a quick trail, medium for the incline grade but nothing particularly strenuous given how short it is. Views from the top were definitely worth the drive over as is the red rock trail its self. Just be sure to bring a shell for up top as the wind really rips up there. Maintained dirt road access, small parking lot, no facilities.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Visited the petroglyphs on this butte. They're all behind a chain link fence to protect them from vandalism. Luckily I had my 300mm lens so I could get decent shots of the art. It's about a half mile walk round trip.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

My family and I visited Lava Beds National Monument in July 2012. Its an interesting landscape. One hike that we did was Schonchin Butte trail. I chose this hike because I thought the views would be impressive and they were. The hike to the top wasn't too bad. If I remember correctly there were a couple benches on the way up. What made this hike even more memorable was meeting a ranger at the lookout on the summit. He shared his work with us and explained his tools. Being July 4th, he even had my daughter help him raise the US Flag on his lookout. What an experience!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Fun hike, it was cool to see the rocks change beneath your feet, we actually spent about 3 hours following the 'trail', before turning back.

If it wasn't for the historical significance of this site and the fascinating history, this wouldn't be a very good hike. That said the trail alternates between smooth sand and lava rocks that at times form small corridors. Multiple small caves and depressions in the terrain give you a good idea what great hiding places the Modoc indians had during the standoff. Wear good hiking shoes. We did the small loop in sandals and had to very carefully negotiate the lava rock pathway. No time this trip to see the tubes as we were heading north into Oregon. Next time we will explore the rest of the park.

Friday, June 07, 2013

quick hike to the top of sheepy ridge. we do it daily and the view is outstanding if the air is clear

Sunday, October 28, 2012

So cool to see but don't try to climb off trail that stuff is sharp! I made the mistake of trying to follow my boyfriend when he wanted to explore and cell and cut myself lol. Oops.

nature trips
Wednesday, February 15, 2012

This is descent place to visit. If you are into history n stuff you will like it. There are 2 loops a shorter loop takes you around the place in 0.5 - 0.7 miles. Longer is around 1.7 miles. There are a lot of caves , ambush points and you can imagine how the Indians were able hold off with a very small number of fighters against a significant opposition for 4-5 months.

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