Tag: geothermal

Lassen Volcanic NP: Cold Boiling Lake

Hike: Cold Boiling Lake
Where: Lassen Volcanic National Park
Trailhead: Kings Creek Picnic Area
Level: Easy
Duration: 45 minutes
Length: 1.4 miles out and back
Gear: Icebreaker Aero Tank, Outdoor Research Turbine Shorts, Boreas Topaz 25, and Ahnu Sugarpine Waterproof Boot
Cost of Parking: Free

Cold Boiling Lake is one of those things that sounded cooler on the map than it did in person. Located near Bumpass Hell, the lake is a part of the active geothermal system in Lassen National Park. The lake gets its name from the cold carbon dioxide bubbles rising to the top giving the appearance of a boiling lake.

The trail out to the lake from the Kings Creek Picnic Area is relatively flat and well marked. The lake is fairly small in size and easy to miss if you’re not looking for it specifically. This was a hike that I definitely could have skipped, or extended by heading down to Crumbaugh Lake as well. It was pretty underwhelming. I could see a few bubbles here and there, and that was about it. This isn’t something that you’re completely missing out on if you never see it. I opted not to continue on since I had just tackled the Kings Creek Falls loop.

An alternate route to get to Cold Boiling Lake would be by way of Bumpass Hell, taking the trail about a mile and a half away from the boardwalk area to the lake.

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Lassen Volcanic NP: Bumpass Hell

Hike: Bumpass Hell
Where: Lassen Volcanic National Park
Trailhead: Bumpass Hell
Level: Easy
Duration: 2 hours
Length: 3 miles out and back
Gear: Icebreaker Tech T Lite, Outdoor Research Echo Ubertube, Outdoor Research Turbine Shorts, Boreas Topaz 25 and Ahnu Sugarpine Waterproof Boot
Cost of Parking: Free

Bumpass Hell in Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of those features that you must see. It’s just so cool! And so stinky. This nicely paved trail leads to the  largest hydrothermal area in the park. The trail, though short, begins at an elevation of 8000′, making it a little tough if you’re not used to the altitude. The family-friendly trail is relatively flat until you drop about a hundred feet down into the steaming basin. A wooden boardwalk allows hikers safe passage across and around the bubbling, boiling hot areas.

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