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Probably the most unique hike I’ve done! I’d call it a moderate hike, first part is easy it’s like walking on sand (annoying but easy) then hiking up the cone is the killer part. It’s only a half mile up, but your legs are going to burn. The painted dunes are what I was looking forward to the most, and they exceeded my expectation. Very unique and beautiful! Also I’d recommend hiking down in the the back trail of the cone, you get great views of MT Lassen, Brokeoff, and you get to walk in the lava flow and dunes a bit.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike to an awesome Geothermal area

Cool lake.

Same deal; about .4mi from devils kitchen encountered mama and baby brown bear. Turned back. Up to that point. Easy trail. Preferred if it wasn’t a horse trail also. Nice meadow, creek. Still a good sweat today.

The hike was amazing. Will confirm what all others have said, first part is easy to moderate, it's just like walking in sand at the beach. It's annoying and works your calfs but it's not the worst thing in the world. Plus you get to walk parallel to the lava beds and it's kinda cool. So much rubble and then it just stops. Kinda cool to think about how it happened back then.

And then you see it. The cone. And the steep incline. And you wonder if you can make it. Here are the only two things I would say a) it looks a lot worse than it is especially if you notice how tiny the people are as they are walking up and b) please take sticks. My husband made me a stick from a dead tree close to the bottom and I don't know how I would have made it without. Everyone tells you how it's one step forward and two steps back but with a stick it rarely happens. And then, seriously. Don't let anyone rush you. The path is wide enough people can pass you. Take your time. Let your quad muscles relax again before you keep going. Slow and steady wins the race as the say.

The good news is that it only goes around the side once. So what you see is pretty much it. There's a last bend that you don't see from way down but really that's it's.

Then enjoy the top. Use the inner trails if you don't like heights but want to see some views.

But my biggest lesson (and maybe it's just my perspective). THE INITIAL SLOPE UP IS WAAAAAY EASIER THAN THE BACK ONE. Just in case there's confusion: the darker one is what I can the initial slope. It's the first one you see when you come from butte campground/Lake. That is way easier up and mainly wider. Less stones so less sliding. The back one, meaning the one on the side of the painted dunes, is half the width. We walked down it and it was horrible. Plus when you're done, the "flatter" hike is twice as long as if you take the main slope.

Lots of detail here as hopefully it's useful for those of you, who, like me, feel like they need to read up a lot on things before venturing.

Bottom line, as with all things that seem difficult, you'll be so proud once you've done it. You hiked up a freakin' volcano for goodness sakes!!!!

hiking
1 month ago

I was staying Manzanita campground and to get to this part of the park you have to drive out the park and come back in to Butte Lake. The road to the trailhead is 6 mile unpaved road - passable by most cars. On this trail, the cinder/sand made difficult to walk and climb. This was a strange looking mountain. Very few trees were glowing on the slope. The view of painted dunes and lava beds down below from the top was spectacular. You can go down inside the cone if you still have energy to come back up. We did this and felt like we were in a gigantic bowl. We came down on the side where painted dune was and we were glad this was descend - very steep! When we were walking back to the car, we encountered a bear not a mile away from the trailhead. We walked away from the bear as far as we can go, checking on the bear who was looking at us a while but walked away after few minutes. This was definitely a memorable one in different ways.

Beautiful day for a hike through old forests, meadows, along a stream, and to the final destination where the geothermal activity occurs. The final spot really is like being on another world. Didn't see any bears (or deer for that matter). The final three miles off the pavement has some pretty washboardy areas for a small vehicle like ours. Loved the hike.

The trail is MUCH harder than it seems. Its combination deep sand (cinder and ash) and incline. Its deceiving to be sure, but so so worth it. The hike goes along the Fantasic Lava Beds (yes, their real name) and are worth exploring to see if you can find volcanic glass. Keep going until you're at the base of the cinder cone (ansolutely awesome--seriously, I was awe-struck). I hung around the base for a while, snapping pics of two people making it up the path to the top. I'd recommended summiting in early, early morning if youre gonna do it cause that climb is relentless torture. So so so worth the drive, the hike, and the aching quads!

hiking
2 months ago

Best hike in Zion. The terrain, forrest, meadows, and streams make it all worth it to begin with, THEN you make it to an area that transports you to another planet. The colors, the steam vents, the boiling pits, everything is astounding. I had trouble leaving because my eyes just couldn't get enough of it. Its more than worth the extra gas to the southeastern area. Also, dont trust the park paper...go to Chester, turn left at the pizza place, then keep going down the eventual dirt road. If you follow the signs for Drakesbad and just keep going even when youre unsure, you'll make it. its way past the paper's stated 12.5 miles.

Great hike, very scenic. We saw the black bear standing on the trail 25' to 30' feet in front of us on the way back.

The view is worth the climb! Did this hike Labor Day 2018 with two 11 year olds and two 7 year olds.

2 months ago

Beautiful hike and easy going.

Like Soph we came across a brown bear and at least two cubs less than a quarter mile from Devil's Kitchen. They were less than 10 yards from the trail. A reminder to be very bear aware in that area.

Beautiful hike, lots of wildlife along the way.

Came in late July 2018. I should have checked the Lassen NPS webcams for air quality/visibility because it was very smokey from the Carr fire and the views were non existent. The air quality site showed "good" conditions.

The road in was bumpy in the middle portion, but nothing my 2WD crossover couldn't handle. My fellow hikers had a Nissan Altima and they did fine. My GPS tried to make me take some sketchy forest roads. I just stayed on the paved road until it ended and veered right.

We paid our $25 fee at the iron Ranger across the road from the ranger station. There's a pit toilet behind he ranger station.

The trail itself was nice. I think its a 1300 foot climb up to the fire look out. I should have brought my hiking poles. Totally spaced on that item. Bring plenty of water and head protection. We visited Dave at the fire look out and he was very nice. He explained how he spots fires. Shortly after we arrived, more guests arrived, making the lookout very crowded.

We did the loop which was about 6 miles for us. The trail down the west side is pretty rocky. Those poles would have been handy and saved my legs. We stopped by the lake and cooled off our feet. Other than the crowded look out, we didn't encounter many hikers.

We'll have to come back when the views are better.

So , awesome views good experience and a great workout. Downsides is it’s far from the main areas of the park also very far down a dirt road which is tough on your car. Very exposed not a lot of shade. No bathrooms nearby they were all closed. This was last year end of July 2017. Cinder means one step forward two steps back but on the bright side it is only .5 miles up the Cinder cone. The views from the top are magnificent though 360 views. This is a definitely a must at least once in your life. How many people can say they’ve climbed a volcano! It was great to have that feeling of accomplishment at the end of it all.

hiking
3 months ago

Easy trail, awesome scenery. There was even a bear roaming around.

3 months ago

Awesome place and great hike. Take the trail to crumbaugh lake or bumpass hell. Sometimes there’s a lot of bubbles and sometimes there’s not. Can’t expect it to be perfect all the time. If you’re complaining about not enough bubbles or to easy of a trail I think you’re missing the point of being out in nature.

Rather underwhelming but a good cool down hike after lassen earlier that day!

Glad to have hiked a volcano, however, loose gravel the whole way up and sand path on the way to and from the volcano. Good calf workout but not the most enjoyable hike we did in the park!

Nice hike, probably a 4 star hike in general but being able to go in the fire lookout and visit with the residents and learn about living up there easily made it a 5 star experience! My 8 and 3 year olds loved visiting the lookout and my 3 year old even begged for me to take her back up there later in the day!

Great hike, awesome view of Lake Juniper at the top!

The meadows near the top were amazing. Lots of open grass meadows with wildflowers. There was no water along the trail but plenty of shade until you reach the final .5 km climb.

The fire watch station was staffed with volunteers who were very friendly. You can see great views of Brokeoff Mountain, Lassen Peak, and Cinder cone from the firewatch station.

If you loop back down the side of the trail that goes along the lake, there is a ton of volcanic rocks along the entire descent. It isn't too difficult but it is a long, gradual descent full with lots of rocks on the trail.

The road into Mount Harkness is pretty rough if you are traveling in a car. it is really steep with a lot of rocks.

Be sure to take a dip in Lake Juniper after your hike! There is parking at the end of the road, and a small beach area near the parking lot. The water in Lake Juniper is so clean, such a beautiful lake!

Disappointed in the lake. It just didn’t have much going for it. My 5 and 9 year old loved the flowers.

hiking
4 months ago

Really neat geological activity.

hiking
4 months ago

Amazing!

Upon learning Bumpass Hell Trail was closed, we were forced to pick a few alternate hikes. We started with this one and though we don't regret it, like others have said, there were only bubbles in a few spots...underwhelming if you've been to Yellowstone! The lake itself is beautiful though. I'd recommend it if you want to do a quick & easy hike.

Only a few bubbles in a few spots. Recommend going further to Bumpass hell.

The hike from the bottom of the cone to the top is a little hard because of the gravel. Took me 30 mins to hike up and less than 10 mins down. The experience of walking inside a volcano was exhilarating. Bring lots of water since there is no shade along the hike.

Nice hike from the road to the hot springs. Some great photos can be taken here. Get there early as parking is really limited and the hordes of people can make the trail unbearable.

hiking
4 months ago

I did this hike this weekend with my mom, sister (age 11) and son (age 4). I would say the first part of the trail is easy/moderate (due to the terrain) and then climbing up to the peak is hard. It was pretty at the top even with the smoke but I would not do this hike again and did not actually enjoy it (and I hike A LOT). Mainly because of the terrain you have to walk on. When you are headed up, you take a step forward just to slide back. With all that being said though we made it to the top and into the crater. It is nice (and a cool experience) when you get up there and I am happy we did it since we were there but wouldn’t do again.

Easy walk and worth checking it out

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