Cool: Tours Open at Crystal Ice Cave

The wintertime adventure goes underground, at Lava Beds National Monument.


RESOLUTIONS, the kind that we make when the new year dawns? They tend to be bright, and aspirational, and positive, and we wish for them most ardently, all to lend them some love, some hope, and a lot of heat. But what if you had a resolution, and a really memorably 2019 goal, that wasn't about heat so much as ice? You could add that to your coming-year bucket list, if you're up for joining a tour of the Crystal Ice Cave at Lava Beds National Monument. For the tours, which only happen on Saturdays, and only in the wintertime, are starting up again, meaning adventurers with a penchant for peeking around a subterranean space filled with frosty formations will be hot to trot to join. Or make that "cool to trot," we suppose. The tours...

HAVE A RANGER AT THE LEAD, and they last three hours each, and each outing "... is recommended for those in very good physical condition who can negotiate loose boulders, ice and snow covered surfaces and slopes, and can crawl and stoop." As you might expect, there are a limited number of spots on each tour — six, in fact — so making your reservation through is essential. You'll want to set your alarm for three weeks ahead of your desired tour date, and then be at the ready between 7 and 10 a.m. to try for that coveted spot. Are you a bit of a spelunker? Or have you done a bit of back-country scouting about in your day? And have you never seen an ice cave? This could be for you. Of course,

LAVA BEDS NATIONAL MONUMENT, which is located near "the top" of California, offers plenty to entice the nature-loving out-and-about-er, including a rich volcanic history, a bevy of bats, and caving possibilities galore. Read all before legging it to Lava Beds for your icy and awesome experience.

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