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Bumpass Hell

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic NP Links:

August 31st, 1999

3.0 miles
445 vertical feet
Total Time: 1:48

Rating: 7/10

Directions:   View Driving Map


I started my hike at about 2:30pm in the afternoon. There were some clouds in the sky, but nothing threatening. It's a self-guiding trail; a pamphlet is available for 50 cents at the trailhead. The trail is definitely made for families and those who aren't up for more challenging hikes such as Lassen Peak.

Brokeoff Mountain over Little Hot Springs Valley

Still, it is a hike and it is mostly on a real trail. It travels somewhat uneventfully, providing some views of Lake Helen and Little Hot Springs Valley. After a little over a mile it reaches an overlook into Bumpass Hell -- a crater filled with all sorts of volcanic misfits -- boiling pools, bubbling mud pots, steam vents, and general stinkiness. Much more impressive than Sulphur Works.

Bumpass Hell

The trail heads down into Bumpass Hell, with a boardwalk weaving its way in and around all the action. It's relatively safe, but I started having my doubts after reading that one of the boiling pools "acquired" an older section of the boardwalk years ago. The boardwalks aren't the sturdiest in the world, and the pools aren't called boiling for nothing. 21 people have been seriously burned in the past 10 years (a sign at the trailhead says so).

Boiling mud pot at Bumpass Hell

The clouds were getting darker, but it never did rain. I retraced my steps back up from Bumpass Hell and back to the parking area.

Warning signs at Bumpass Hell

Return to Lassen Volcanic NP trip report.


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