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Mill Creek Falls to Cold Boiling Lake, CA

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 9 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,720 feet
Elevation Gain 700 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,100 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 19.5
Interest Seasonal Waterfall, Perennial Waterfall, Seasonal Creek & Perennial Creek
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
Dogs not allowed
Photos Viewed All MineFollowing
16  2014-07-03 JimmyLyding
author avatar Guides 111
Routes 433
Photos 4,307
Trips 781 map ( 4,566 miles )
Age 48 Male Gender
Location Walnut Creek, CA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred Aug, Jul, Sep, Jun → 2 PM
Seasons   Summer to Early Autumn
Sun  5:17am - 7:04pm
0 Alternative

Scenic Mill Creek Falls and Mysterious Cold Boiling Lake
by JimmyLyding

  Likely In-Season!
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This hike doesn't look like much, but it's a great sample of the beauty of Lassen Volcanic National Park. There's a scenic waterfall, a magnificent lake, another lake that boils cold, a great mix of vegetation types and views galore.

The hike starts at about 6,700' above sea level at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center near the southwest entrance station. The visitor center itself is worth checking out for its gift shop, nature-gift shop, small cafe, museum, auditorium programs and back patio. The Mill Creek Falls Trail starts at the northeast corner of the large parking lot near a restroom building then switchbacks down to South Sulphur Creek. The west side of the creek is an open forest of red fir, lodgepole pine and manzanita while the eastern side is a carpet of mule ears. The trail goes up and down for the first 2.3 miles until reaching scenic Mill Creek Falls. There is a nice viewing area high above the falls across the creek that is easily seen from the trail. Don't be surprised to see hippy California people swimming, bathing and hanging out above the falls. Bumpass Creek flows down from Bumpass Hell and joins Mill Creek just above the falls. I'm not sure I'd go swimming below the falls after seeing Bumpass Hell.

The trail becomes the Crumbaugh Lake Trail at the falls even though there is no junction, and quickly begins a steep ascent of about 800' over a mile through a dense forest. You'll hit Conard Meadow and great views of 8,204' Mount Conard near the top of this climb. Descend a little bit down to Crumbaugh Lake and enjoy the great view of this small lake from the west shore, particularly in the afternoon. There are numerous rocks on the side of the trail that are perfect for a break with the blue lake shimmering below.

The trail continues another mile or so and a few hundred feet up to Cold Boiling Lake. It isn't the most spectacular geothermal feature in the park by a long shot, but it is interesting nonetheless. The forest is thick around the lake, and only about 1,000-square-feet of the 10-acre (guesstimate) lake is "boiling." This is the volcanic heart of the park as most of the visible geothermal features like Bumpass Hell, Sulphur Works, Little Hot Springs and Cold Boiling Lake in the southeastern corner of the park. The Crumbaugh Lake Trail continues 0.7 miles up to the Kings Creek Picnic Area off of Hwy. 36, and the Bumpass Hell Trail heads 1.9 miles up to Bumpass Hell itself from Cold Boiling Lake.

This hike would be great as a shuttle with the end point at the Kings Creek Picnic Area or 3.2 miles to the Bumpass Creek trailhead.

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2014-07-10 JimmyLyding
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Lassen Volcanic National Park
    Lassen Park Fees

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From Red Bluff, CA go 51.5 miles on Highway 36 to the Lassen Volcanic National Park southwest entrance station. The entrance to the visitor center parking lot is about 25 yards from the entrance station, and the trailhead is to the right/east of the visitor center behind a small building with his/her restrooms. Standard national park entrance fees apply.
    page created by JimmyLyding on Jul 10 2014 8:21 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    Avoid Heat Illness - stay cool

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