Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of my favorite places in California. It’s an absolute hidden gem, overshadowed by other national parks like Yosemite. Bumpass Hell was my first hike within the park.
Bumpass Hell in Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of those features that you must see. It’s just so cool! And so stinky, a great, family-friendly introduction to the park.
The Bumpass Hell trail is a nicely paved trail. It leads to the largest hydrothermal area in the park. The trail, though short, begins at an elevation of 8000′. This makes it a little tough if you’re not used to being at high elevations.
I found myself huffing and puffing despite how easy it is.
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.
Hikers should take care to stay within the confines of the boardwalk. Though the area is innocuous-looking, stepping off the boardwalk means potentially punching through the crust into boiling hot liquid. It’s not named Bumpass Hell for nothing.
If you’d like to extend your trip, the trail at Bumpass Hell also goes out to Cold Boiling Lake. However, the lake wasn’t very impressive and was more like a boiling marsh.
To get back to the car, retrace your steps back along the boardwalk and out on the paved walkway.