Lassen Volcanic NP: Kings Creek Falls, Bench Lake & Sifford Lake
Hike: Kings Creek Falls + Sifford Lake Loop
Where: Lassen Volcanic National Park
Trailhead: Kings Creek
Duration: 4 hours
Length: 5.8 mile loop
Gear: Icebreaker Aero Tank, Outdoor Research Turbine Shorts, Triple Aught Design Artemis Hoodie, Black Diamond Ultra Distance trekking poles, Boreas Topaz 25, and Ahnu Sugarpine Waterproof Boot
Cost of Parking: Free
With only a few days in Lassen, I wanted to try to fit as much of the park in as possible. Mt. Lassen, of course, was one. We also decided to check Kings Creek Falls and that little loop off of our list.
We started on the trailhead at around 9am the day before the 4th of July. I was worried we would run into a lot of people on such a short trip to the falls, but thankfully the tourists were all at their campsites and saw few people for most of the hike.
Decided to hit up the falls first to beat the crowds and began the loop hiking clockwise through the absolutely breathtaking meadow. The trail down to the falls is loose and gravelly and would have been a less enjoyable climb as opposed to the lengthy, but gradual return on the other side of the loop. Unfortunately due to the absence of winter this year, Bench Lake was completely bone dry. Sifford Lake was only an additional .8 miles out and back on the trail so I went ahead and tacked that on to get some lake action in. Sifford Lake was a neat little spot with some campsites if that catches your fancy. Water level was a little low and quality was a little questionable without boiling, but still drinkable and swimmable. The cliffs by the lake also offer some great views of the forest.
It was a fairly mellow trail that wound through redwoods. I wasn’t terribly impressed by most of it other than the Kings Creek Falls section. This a hit it and quit it trail; probably won’t be back to see most of it again.