Subway Cave Trail is a 0.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Hat Creek, California that features a cave and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
Descend into the dark volcanic underworld of the Subway Cave lava tube for a short yet highly memorable hike. Twenty thousand years ago and just 15 miles north of Lassen Volcanic National Park, the ground broke apart and huge volumes of volcanic rock poured forth to create the enormous expanse that is the Hat Creek Lava Flow. Exposed to the air, the top of the lava flow began to cool and solidify, while molten rock below continued to flow - insulated by the now solid roof and creating lava tubes which carried the red-hot rock miles from its source. Subway Cave is a section of lava tube less than a third of a mile long, located between two areas of ceiling cave-ins. Substantial concrete steps have been constructed at both ends of the cave, providing easy access for all would-be spelunkers.
This was an awesome little hike!
The trail itself was very short (only about half a mile). It began across the street from Cave Campground, and there are two parking areas at the trailhead. The cave itself is accessible year-round although they block off the closer parking area during winter. There is also a bathroom at the trailhead. We went in December and there was no one else there, which made the experience so much better.
The starting direction for the trail is very well marked. It begins by hiking up a little hill then opening and descending stairs into the cave area. The name subway seemed very appropriate because the cave was much larger than I thought it would be. However, anyone above 6 feet tall might want to be careful in some portions of the cave.
Bring a good flashlight! It is pitch black inside and there are many tripping hazards (in fact they named a portion of the cave after that). Be sure to take the time to read the placards as you go thru (lots of interesting info).
On the other side of the cave, you again go up stairs to the remainder of the trail, which is forest, running parallel to the cave.
All in all this cave was short but so unique! Definitely worth a visit (plus it's pretty badass to say you hiked a lava tube)!
Easy hike with a lot of well maintained graphic information along the way. Bring flashlights and warm clothes! Kids loved it.
GPS was off a little. Keep your eye out for cave campground its directly across. Don't forget your flashlight! We went in Feb was amazing to see all the ice and snow:)
Good for kids, BRING a flashlight! Our 3 year old son loves it. Ground is really bumpy so hold hands, it's a great experience!
Short hike through a naturally formed tunnel created by ancient lava flow. We didn't have time to travel to Lava Beds, so I was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon this spot just off the main highway between Lassen Volcanic NP and Mount Shasta. Be sure to bring decent walking shoes, flashlight and light jacket. There are no lights inside except for a handful of informational markers throughout the tunnel, which explain where you are and what you are seeing. Depending upon your pace the hike should only take 30 min - 1 hour
I went with my husband, we loved it. It was cool inside which was nice, pitch dark without a light!!! I have a bit of claustrophobia and, it was fine :). Super interesting, totally recommend, easy .
Really amazing to stand inside this big lava tube. It is easy to get to and its with the short stop.
The cave was awesome!