Sunshine Cave in Lava Beds National Monument

Sunshine Cave is unique in Lava Beds National Monument as it is one of the few caves that has cave-ins that let in the light. There are a couple of others in the park that have this but what sets Sunshine Cave apart is how big the cave in is and that the light coming through has allowed plants to grow in the cave itself. It’s a short cave, but it’s awesome. Here is all the information.

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  • 466 feet
  • Need a good flashlight

Getting There

Sunshine Cave is located at the top of Cave Loop which starts from the visitor center. There is a small parking turnout next to it, but it isn’t super popular so it shouldn’t be full.

The Cave

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From the parking lot, it is about 20 feet up a small dirt trail to the start of the cave. The cave has a short entry staircase which is not as intense looking as the other cave entries are.

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Upon entering, you will need your flashlight as this cave has uneven ground and some areas where you need to watch your head.

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The cave is a relatively straight shot though, and you get to the first sunshine area in about 5 minutes.

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This area is pretty with the light, but the hole is fairly small, so it’s not as impressive as the second one. The next section is dark, and there is a place where you will need to bend over before getting into the second sunlight area.

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This one is big, and it is where the plants are growing in the light. It was hard to take great photos here because the lighting was harsh but it was much more beautiful in real life. From here you can head down a metal staircase and explore the back of the cave if you so desire, but it is pretty narrow back there and I didn’t find much to see.

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This is and out and back cave, so when you are done, you will head back the way you came. What’s nice about this cave is that it is less popular so there is a good chance you will have it all to yourself when you are there. Let me know what you think about this cave in the comments and check out more spots to explore in the area in this post.

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