Bumpass Hell Trail

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Learn more about the trail into Lassen's largest and most popular hydrothermal area, Bumpass Hell.


Start: Bumpass Hell parking area
Round Trip Distance: 3 miles
Round Trip Time: 2 hours
Terrain: easy 300 foot descent
Elevation: 8000 feet

Rehabilitation efforts are completed on the 1.5-mile trail between Bumpass Hell parking area and Bumpass Hell basin. The resulting trail is wider, smoother, and better designed to withstand erosion.

Hikers will see continuing Bumpass Hell Trail and Boardwalk Rehabilitation Project efforts along the trail and within the basin. This includes restoration of an alternative 0.2-mile basin access trail and overlook enhancement. The second basin trail will remain closed until construction is complete and access to overlooks may be limited.


Bumpass Hell Trail Spring Closure

The trail to reach Bumpass Hell is at a high elevation and receives significant snowpack. The Bumpass Hell Trail is closed throughout spring and often into early summer due to severe winter hazards. On average, it opens by Fourth of July weekend, however actual opening dates vary with each year's snowpack. View alternatives during closure below.

Previous Opening Dates

Year Date Opened Notes
2011 July 13
2012 June 29
2013 June 25
2014 June 11
2015 June 7
2016 July 9
2017 August 22
2018 Closed Trail closed January 1, 2018 through September 13, 2019 for a rehabilitation project.
2019 September 13 Late opening due to rehabilitation project.
2020 July 2

Alternatives to Bumpass Hell Trail

Consider one of these alternatives if Bumpass Hell Trail is closed, too crowded, or you are just looking for something new:

  • Stop by Sulphur Works hydrothermal area to get the closest view in the park of bubbling mudpots and hissing steam vents.
  • Take a day trip to the Warner Valley Area and enjoy an easy or moderate hike to one or more hydrothermal areas including (distances are round-trip): Boiling Springs Lake (3.0 mi), Devils Kitchen (4.4 mi), and Terminal Geyser (5.8 mi).
  • Access Bumpass Hell basin via the Cold Boiling Lake Trail (5.2 mi). Note that this is a longer and more challenging hike than the Bumpass Hell Trail. You can also expect snow on this trail through June or sometimes July. If the Kings Creek Picnic Area and trailhead is not yet open for the season due to snow, you may park in a pullout along the highway and walk in (be prepared for significant snowpack).

The Largest Hydrothermal Area in the Park

Bumpass Hell is the largest hydrothermal area in the park and marks the principal area of upflow of steam and discharge from the Lassen hydrothermal system. The temperature of high-velocity steam jetting from Big Boiler, the largest fumarole in the park, has been measured as high as 322°F (161°C), making it one of the hottest fumaroles in the world. The steam heated waters are typically acidic and are not safe, even for bathing. Learn more about hydrothermal features in Lassen in a U.S. Geological Survey publication, "Hot Water" in Lassen Volcanic National Park.


Last updated: July 2, 2020

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Mineral, CA 96063


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