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A Day in Modoc County Wildlife, caves, scenic views, and more!

Vacation opportunities in Modoc County are rich and varied - you'll find everything from stunning wildlife to more caves then you can shake a stick at! Below we've put together some of our favorite sites for a day that encapsulates the best that Modoc County has to offer.

Lava Beds National Monument

Start your day exploring the varied landscape of Lava Beds National Monument. Over the last half-million years, volcanic eruptions have created a rugged landscape dotted with diverse volcanic features. More than 800 caves, Native American rock art sites, historic battlefields, and a high desert wilderness experience await you.

The caves at Lava Beds are the star of the show, and there are certainly plenty to choose from! There are opportunities for everyone, from the first-time cave visitor to the experienced spelunker. Or, you can always join a ranger for a guided tour of Fern Cave or the Crystal Ice Cave, some of the most spectacular caves on property. (Available seasonally.)

Photo Credit: Rob Crenson

After you're done at Lava Beds, stop for lunch in Alturas at the Niles Hotel. The Niles Coffee Company offers sandwiches, burgers, and salads, along with coffee and fresh pastries.

Modoc National Wildlife Refuge

Photo Credit: Rob Crenson

Your next stop is the Modoc National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is home to bald eagles, peregrine falcons, goshawks, golden eagles, and many other endangered species. On the land, Rocky Mountain mule deer and elk, wild horses, burros, and pronghorn antelope are just a few of Modoc County’s happy inhabitants.

Top: Cockrell's High Desert Lodging, Bottom: Surprise Valley Hotsprings

After you've explored the refuge, head in to relax for the night at either Cockrell's High Desert Lodging or Surprise Valley Hotsprings. Cockrells' Ranch & High Desert Lodging is surrounded by beautiful views of mountains, cattle, and wildlife. House the whole family in one of their lodges and experience the peacefulness that only country style living has to offer. Alternatively, if you don't have kids in your party, there's nothing more relaxing then a stay at Surprise Valley Hotsprings. Come get away and soak in your own private hot tub fed by a natural artisan hot spring.

Just because you've checked in for the night, don't think the fun is over yet! Modoc County has some of the most stunning night skies in the state. With little to no light pollution you'll have a perfect view of the stars to end your Modoc day.