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Captain Jack's Stronghold

45650 State Highway 139, Tulelake, California 96134 USA

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“A Modoc War battleground”

During the Modoc War, Captain Jack's band settled here following the Battle of Lost River, and held off a United States Army force outnumbering them by as much as 10 to 1 for several months. The lava beds made an outstanding stronghold for the Modocs because of the rough terrain, rocks that could be used in fortification, and irregular pathways to evade pursuers. In the First Battle of the Stronghold, January 17, 1873, 51 Modoc warriors defeated an Army force of 225 soldiers supported by 104 Oregon and California volunteers, killing 35 and wounding several others, while suffering no casualties or serious woundings. During the Second Battle of the Stronghold, April 15 - 17, the reinforced Army of over six hundred men captured the Modoc spring and cut off their route to Tulelake, forcing the Modoc to flee when their water supplies ran out. After fleeing the Stronghold, the band of Modoc splintered, and the last group, made up of Captain Jack, John Schonchin, Black Jim, and Boston Charley were captured on June 1, 1873. All four were hanged on October 3, 1873, at Fort Klamath.

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Reviewed by

  • Road Warrior
  • 401 Reviews
  • 274 Helpful
September 24, 2014
Rated 5.0

Right in between Tulelake and Canby, the memorial area of Captain Jack's Stronghold exists.

It is a rocky area created by lava beds and this is what makes it special. There are paths among the rocks were you can walk and explore. If you know the history you can sense the importance of this place and understand you are truly visiting a memorial created by nature.

It was a very sensible walk this we had and very educational for our children who understood the importance of the place as we explained the historical background.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 74 Reviews
  • 57 Helpful
August 16, 2014
Rated 5.0

Great place to walk and explore. Educational markers help tell the story of a little known part of the larger history of American-Native wars of the 19th Century. The history and natural features make it interesting for all ages.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
August 05, 2017
Rated 5.0

The actual trails and location of stronghold are inside the lava beds park and it is definitely worth stopping to see. Grab a brochure that tells the story of each significant location along the trail. There's picnic tables and bathrooms here too. Everyone including the kids found this fascinating.

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Reviewed by

  • 2 Reviews
  • 0 Helpful
July 23, 2015

Very cool hike, especially for the kids. Note that this is actually inside Lava Beds National Monument.

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Reviewed by

  • 36 Reviews
  • 8 Helpful
January 31, 2015
Rated 4.0

Kids love this and it is a fun little educational walk for all ages. It is really interesting.

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Captain Jack's Stronghold

45650 State Highway 139
Tulelake, California
96134 USA

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  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Breakfast
  • Waitstaff
  • Outdoor Seating
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