Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
100.00 ft (30.48 m)
Trail type
3.50 mi (5.63 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Located in the Shasta Valley on the north side of Mount Shasta lies a little traveled and little known set of ancient lava tubes.  These tubes were formed 190,000 years ago as the northern reaches of the Cascade Range were coming into being and Mount Shasta was erupting. Though there are cave-ins along the first stretch of the main tube, you can journey nearly 2 miles into the final section if you are brave enough and have brought proper footwear and lighting you. There is no exit, however, and so you will have to carefully work your way back out.

The trail to reach the caves is a simple walk on dry high desert sand through desert shrubbery, offering a few different flowers that may be in bloom and some great views of Mount Shasta off in the distance. There are species of bats that inhabits this area, and they may or may not be active. While it is always cool to see animals in their natural habitat, make sure not to disturb them as you venture through the caves! The total length of this trip varies from 1.5 miles to 3.5 miles depending on how deep you journey into the cave.

The Ultimate
Adventure Maps

Access 650K+ miles of trail data, Offline Maps, GPS Tracking, Waypoint functionality, Outdoor Project Adventures, and more with onX Backcountry. Start your free trial today–no credit card required.

Start Free Trial

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Easy hike. Not a lot of people. Good views of Mount Shasta. Caves.


Exposed hike. Rattlesnakes. Bats.

Trailhead Elevation

3,387.00 ft (1,032.36 m)


Bird watching
Old-growth forest
Geologically significant


Nearby Adventures

Mount Shasta + Medicine Lake Area, California
Mount Shasta + Medicine Lake Area, California
Mount Shasta + Medicine Lake Area, California

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Mount Shasta + Medicine Lake Area, California
Mount Shasta + Medicine Lake Area, California
California, Mount Shasta + Medicine Lake Area


Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.