Devil’s Kitchen and Boiling Springs Lake, Lassen National Park, California, USA

 

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Devil’s Kitchen, Lassen National Park, California

If you want to walk amongst hot springs, fumaroles and mud pots, this is the place to go to. At 4.2 mile round trip, it is a little longer than Lassen’s more popular Bumpass Hell hike. At the end of the hike, there was a boardwalk that allowed us closer views of the colorful pools, smoking hot springs and gurgling mud pots.  This is another place where I feel that pictures just don't do justice to what really stood before us.

Smoking hot springs at Devil's Kitchen, Lassen National Park, California

Smoking hot springs at Devil's Kitchen, Lassen National Park, California

Our hike started into a green meadow with wildflowers close by and hills in the distance. Eventually, we got to the shade of some trees which led us to the hot springs. On the map we printed at home, it looked like there was another way to return to the trailhead, but when we explored, the alternative trail back seemed unused and was blocked by fallen trees.

Meadow leading to Devil's Kitchen, Lassen National Park, California

Meadow leading to Devil's Kitchen, Lassen National Park, California

To get to Devil's Kitchen, we drove on an unpaved single lane road. Parking was scarce, probably due to Bumpass Hell being closed that weekend. There were many warnings cautioning hikers to stay on trail as we neared the hydrothermal areas.  Both Devil's Kitchen and Bumpass Hell reminded me of Yellowstone National Park, perhaps a smaller version of the largest supervolcano in the world.

Devil's Kitchen, Lassen National Park, California

Hydrothermal Pool at Devil's Kitchen, Lassen National Park, California

 

Practical Information (as of July 2016):

Directions: From Hwy 36 in the town of Chester, follow the Feather River Road north 1 mile to a fork for Juniper Lake and Warner Valley. Continue towards Warner Valley/Drakesbad for 15 miles. Turn left onto the dirt road and continue past the Warner Valley Campground to the turnoff for the trailhead.  Even though Devil's Kitchen is close by distance to Bumpass Hell, there is no through road from that side.

Hike: 4.2 miles roundtrip, fairly flat, mostly shaded

Features: Boardwalk to view colorful Hot springs, fumaroles and mud pots, sulfur odor, green meadows, walk into an active volcanic park

Fee: part of Lassen National Park ($20/car fee for 7 days in park) or free with Annual Parks Pass

Amentities: Pit toilet, water, picnic tables, limited parking

 

Boiling Springs Lake

On the way back from our Devil's Kitchen hike, we veered out onto a trail towards Boiling Springs Lake. The trail to Boiling Springs Lake starts along the Devil's Kitchen Trail. The trail from Devil’s Kitchen Trail starts with a gentle slope going through a wooded area. The end of the trail was a loop around the lake. It was quite a sight to see white and red rocks juxtaposed against a bubbling light blue lake. The loop trail gave us a view of this big simmering lake from many different angles, allowing us to hear and see the gurgling mud pots. Boiling Springs Lake is at a temperature of 125 F, fed by a number of vents situated under the lake.

Boiling Springs Lake, Lassen National Park, California

Boiling Springs Lake, Lassen National Park, California - shores made up of fumaroles

To get to the Boiling Springs Lake, we drove on a single lane, gently sloping , unpaved roadway. We had no trouble with our sedan on this road on a dry day. Caution near the lake as it is a hydrothermal area - so please stay on trails.  Beyond Boiling Springs Lake, there is a sign towards Terminal Geyser which we did not visit.

View of Boiling Springs Lake from the top, Lassen NP, California

View of Boiling Springs Lake from the top, Lassen NP, California

 
Practical Information (as of July 2016):

Directions: Same Devil's Kitchen Trailhead as above

Hike: 2 miles from Devil's Trail junction, 3miles from Parking lot, gentle slope

Features: Loop around a boiling bubbling lake with beautiful red and white rocks, walk into an active volcanic park 

Amentities: Pit toilet, water, picnic tables, limited parking.

 

Warning: The safety of these adventures are dependent on a variety of factors including but not limited to: terrain, weather, wildlife, hiker skill level, human error, and other foreseen and unforeseen circumstances. Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information provided at the time of publication, we do not assume any liability for the accuracy and completeness of the information provided.  As such, we will not be held responsible for any harm, injury, and/or loss that may result. Your personal judgement on the safety of each adventure is required at all times. Please use your own discretion and be safe.

 

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