Hike: Cold Boiling Lake
Where: Lassen Volcanic National Park
Trailhead: Kings Creek Picnic Area
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.