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Swimming & Waterplay: California > Lassen Volcanic National Park

Quick Facts

Mill Creek Falls Trail

Beginning Elevation: 6,700 Feet (2088.5 Meters) Southwest Campground
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain, Round Trip: 750 Feet (233.8 Meters) to Conard Meadows
Ending Elevation: 7,080 Feet (2207.0 Meters) Conard Meadows
Length, One-way: 3.2 Miles (5.33 Kilometers)
Recommended Season: Summer
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Lassen Peak 7.5 Minute Series
Vehicle Accessibility: Passenger Vehicle

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The trail to Mill Creek Falls begins in the Southwest Campground and leads through the Sulphur Creek drainage two and a half miles to the falls where Bumpass and East Sulphur Creek meet. The trail is mainly level with little elevation gain or loss.

Begin your hike near the restrooms of the campground where you'll see a trailhead sign. From this point the trail descends into the Sulphur Creek valley and crosses the creek on a log bridge. Beyond the creek crossing the trail contours the side of the valley heading southward. Approximately three quarters of a mile from the trailhead the path turns northward again continuing to lead to the east.

In the next mile the trail gains 290 feet before descending into the East Sulphur Creek valley. Before crossing the creek you'll come to the Mill Creek Falls. The Bumpass Creek and East Sulphur Creek join at this point and create the falls. The cascade is approximately 75 feet, the highest of any waterfall in the park.

The route continues past the waterfall overlook to the crest of the falls. It crosses East Sulphur and Bumpass Creeks in the next quarter mile. After crossing Bumpass Creek the trail begins to ascend along the southern bank of the drainage. This is the steepest portion of the trail as it ascends 440 feet. During this half mile the trail switchbacks several times and veers southward from the creek. At the top of the switchbacks is Conard Meadows, which produces several types of wildflowers usually in mid July.

Those hearty individuals interested in continuing their hike can follow the trail one mile eastward to Crumbaugh Lake. If not, turn around and follow the trail back to Southwest Campground. The mileage to Conard Meadows from the trailhead is approximately three and a half miles.

Directions from Southwest Entrance: Drive northward on Highway 89 to the parking area of Southwest Campground. Follow the paved trail to the trailhead close to the restrooms.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Mid-June through Mid-October (NOTE: Snow may cover the trail in the Early Summer and Fall.) .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Dispersed Camping Mill Creek Falls Trail - backcountry permit required
ICON Hiking & Walking Mill Creek Falls Trail
ICON Plant Identification Mill Creek Falls Trail
ICON Wildflower Identification Mill Creek Falls Trail
ICON General Information Mill Creek Falls Trail - Lassen Chalet Ranger Station
ICON Backpacking Mill Creek Falls Trail - backcountry permit required
ICON Trailhead Parking Mill Creek Falls Trail - Southwest Campground
ICON Viewing Scenery Mill Creek Falls Trail

Related Activities
Cold Boiling Lake Trail - This trail leads nearly two and a half miles to Conard Meadows at the base of Mt. Conard. It is an easy trek with little elevation change.

Southwest Walk-In Campground - This site is open for tent camping year round. It provides access to hiking, horseback riding, backpacking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing opportunities.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Lassen Volcanic National Park, P.O. Box 100, 38050 Hwy 36 East , Mineral, CA, 96063, Phone: 530-595-4444, Fax: 530-595-3262


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