360° VR Panoramas of Lassen Volcanic Park and the Modoc Plateau
Captain Jacks Stronghold
Lava Beds National Monument, California

In 1872, to avoid forcible removal from their traditional homelands on the Lost River, a portion of the Modoc Indian tribe fled here, to the inhospitable lava beds. Despite winter cold and minimal resources, they managed to survive. Even more remarkably they held out, utilizing the natural fortifications of the lava flow, against a much larger and better armed force of US Army cavalry and volunteers.

Captain Jack's Stronghold, named for Kintpuash, the Indian leader, is a fascinating place. A loop trail tells the amazing, sad story. You can trace the cracks, ridges, and caves where the drama played out in 1872-73.

This was the first, maybe the only, Indian war closely covered by the mass media, with reporters from eastern and European newspapers and magazines. Pioneering western photographer Edweard Muybridge was also on the scene.


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Captain Jack's Stronghold

Captain Jack's Stronghold

Beginning of the self-guiding history trail into the lava beds

Captain Jack's Stronghold, Modoc Lava Beds National Monument, California

Date photographed: July 20, 2011
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Captain Jack's Stronghold

Captain Jack's Stronghold

Massive cracks in the lava provided pathways protected from enemy observatiion and fire

Captain Jack's Stronghold, Modoc Lava Beds National Monument, California

Date photographed: July 20, 2011
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Captain Jack's Stronghold

Captain Jack's Stronghold

A few high peaks of lava provided observation points

Captain Jack's Stronghold, Modoc Lava Beds National Monument, California

Date photographed: July 20, 2011
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Captain Jack's Stronghold

Captain Jack's Stronghold

It was in this shallow cave that Captain Jack and his family took shelter during the siege

Captain Jack's Stronghold, Modoc Lava Beds National Monument, California

Date photographed: July 20, 2011
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Captain Jack's Stronghold

Captain Jack's Stronghold

A Native American medicine pole

Captain Jack's Stronghold, Modoc Lava Beds National Monument, California

Date photographed: July 20, 2011
See location in Google Maps

Captain Jack's Stronghold

Captain Jack's Stronghold

This is the view that the besieging soldiers had of their hidden foe in the lava beds

Captain Jack's Stronghold, Modoc Lava Beds National Monument, California

Date photographed: July 20, 2011
See location in Google Maps

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