Northern California February 16, 2019
The One Northern California Cave That’s Filled With Ancient Mysteries
Caves have a natural way of piquing anybody’s interest. There’s something about their dark, confined spaces that make you wonder about what can be found there, along with what’s
been there. Northern California is full of fascinating caves that are worthy of being explored, especially at Lava Beds National Monument. In fact, there’s one ancient cave in this park that is full of mystery and will have you thinking about the rich history of this particular region. Seeing it is a must for any caving enthusiast so check it out!
It's no secret that the history at Lava Beds National Monument goes way back. The park is loaded with reminders of the people who used this region thousands of years ago. Many of these reminders can be found in the park's caves, such as Big Painted Cave.
To get to Big Painted Cave, you'll head to the visitors center and head left onto the main road. Follow this road until you start to see signs for both Symbol Bridge and Big Painted Cave. You'll be able to park near these signs and set forth on the trail.
You'll hike along the trail for less than a mile before coming upon the cave. Another ancient cave, Symbol Bridge, is just a quarter mile past Big Painted Cave and is definitely worth a stop, as well.
Once you see it, you'll instantly understand why the cave was named Big Painted Cave. The opening is huge and the walls are adorned with various colors. Upon further inspection, you'll spot ancient pictographs scattered across the rocks.
The pictographs are associated with the Modoc people who gathered in this region thousands of years ago. It's hard to determine exactly how old the rock art exactly is. However, experts estimate that some of these images were made more than 6,000 years ago.
Be sure to continue to check out the second cave, Symbol Bridge. The artwork in this cave is even more pronounced and evident than the rock art in Big Painted Cave. Although a lot of it has been victim to weathering and graffiti over the years, there's still a lot of history to be observed on these walls.
The big mystery about the rock art in these caves is what it exactly means. Unlike other rock art sites, these pictographs are dominated by geometric patterns instead of people and animals. You can't help but imagine what the Modoc people were trying to communicate when they made these etchings on the cave walls.
We may never understand the pictographs that have been left behind in these caves. However, seeing them for yourself never fails to leave you in awe. After all, there's something undeniably special about cultures reaching across thousands of years to leave their mark on the world.
Does this ancient cave have your interest? What other caves in Northern California are worth exploring? Let us know! For more, check out our list of
7 Amazing Caves In Northern California.