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Swimming & Waterplay: California > Lassen Volcanic National Park

Quick Facts

Bumpass Hell Trail

Beginning Elevation: 8,150 Feet (2540.5 Meters) Bumpass Hell Trailhead
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain, Round Trip: 800 Feet (249.4 Meters) from Cold Boiling Lake
Ending Elevation: 7,440 Feet (2319.2 Meters) Cold Boiling Lake
Length, Round Trip: 6 Miles (10.0 Kilometers)
Recommended Season: Fall
Usage: Heavy in Summer
USGS Maps: Reading Peak, Lassen Peak
Vehicle Accessibility: Passenger Vehicle In Summer

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The trail through Bumpass Hell begins along Highway 89 across from Lake Helen. The trail leads three miles southeastward from the trailhead to Cold Boiling Lake. Interpretive signs along the route tell visitors about the various natural features in this area, which is the largest thermal area in the park.

Begin this hike at the Bumpass Hell Trailhead, which lies at 8,150 feet. The trail begins by gaining a few hundred feet in elevation in the first half mile. It reaches 8,400 feet then descends slightly into the Bumpass Creek drainage, of which Bumpass Hell lies at the head.

A boardwalk leads visitors over the hydrothermal area complete with bubbling and steaming pools. Interpretive signs through this area describe the geologic and human history of the area. Other signs warn hikers to remain on the trail due to unstable soil conditions. (Mr. Bumpass lost his leg after falling into a boiling pool.)

Beyond Bumpass Hell the trail leads southward contouring the western Bumpass Creek canyon wall. Less than a half mile from the hydrothermal area the trail turns eastward and descends to cross the inlet stream to Crumbaugh Lake. The trail levels after crossing the stream and traverses the head of the North Arm Rice Creek valley. The trail enters an open area that surrounds Cold Boiling Lake. The lake lies a mile and a half from Bumpass Hell.

To return to the trailhead follow the path above described. The return hike will involve approximately 800 feet of elevation gain in three miles. The portion of the trail from Bumpass Hell to Cold Boiling Lake is rarely used. If you hike it during the week you may find yourself alone in the wilderness.

Directions from Southwest Entrance: Drive northward on Lassen Park Road 9 miles to the trailhead for Bumpass Hell.

Directions from Northwest Entrance: Drive southward 23 miles on the Lassen Park Road to the trailhead for Bumpass Hell.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Year-round (NOTE: The trail will be snow covered from Late October to May.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Filed By: Lisa
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Best hike in the park if you continue to Cold Boiling Lake.If you can, bring two cars so that one can be left at Kings Creek Picnic area. This makes the hike nearly all down hill. It's a very pretty hike to the lake. WARNING. If you are headed to Kings Creek, be sure to turn off of the main trail at Cold Boiling Lake. The sign is very easy to miss.
Conditions: clear, and beautiful.
Water Availability: easy hike. Not much water needed.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Trailhead Parking Bumpass Hell Trail
ICON Backpacking Bumpass Hell Trail - to Twin Meadows or Cold Boiling Lake Trails
ICON Geology Bumpass Hell Trail
ICON History Interpretive signs through this area describe the geologic and human history of the area.
ICON Hiking & Walking Bumpass Hell Trail
ICON Plant Identification Bumpass Hell Trail
ICON Wildflower Identification Bumpass Hell Trail
ICON Snowshoeing Bumpass Hell Trail
ICON Viewing Historic Sites Interpretive signs through this area describe the geologic and human history of the area.
ICON Viewing Interpretive Sites Bumpass Hell 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.

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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