Chaos Crags Trail

MODERATE 9 reviews

Chaos Crags Trail is a 3.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Old Station, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from August until December.

DISTANCE
3.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
977 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

rocky

snow

Clamber around the rocks of an enormous volcanic rockslide. Located four hours north east of San Francisco this Northern California park might be a little out of the way, but it's a prime destination for seekers of tranquility and those with even just a passing interest in geology. In geological terms the landscape of Lassen Volcanic National Park is about as young as it gets, and for an example you need look no further than Chaos Crags, a mountain of pink dacite that sprouted from the earth only a thousand years ago. Even more recent was the Chaos Jumbles rockslide - a massive carpet of rock which separated from the mountain and careened down its flanks at speeds over 100mph, devastating the forest below and only coming to rest after spilling up the side of Table Mountain a whole two miles away.

hiking
12 days ago

June 12th 2017
The trailhead wasn't as easy to see as most other trails. The sign was quite small.
We hiked this trail when the park was still only partially open but there was only a little snow left on Chaos Craig's. The hike to the little crater lake was lovely. It took us about 1h 15min and was more on the easy moderate side. The forest wasn't cleaned up very well yet but that didn't bother us. Nature was gorgeous and the little crater lake was lovely. The water was very clear and ice cold. Technically you're not supposed to hike up to the mountain top because of all the loose gravel. Since there were still some snow patches the ground was a little wet in certain parts which actually helped us get up to the first rock formation. We were able to see Mount Shasta from there but we didn't go further up because the gravel was quite loose. I imagine that it would be much easier to get up there when the ground is much wetter from the snow. Maybe right after the park first opens after the winter break. The views must be breathtaking on the summit.

24 days ago

hiking
27 days ago

A pretty trail but due to wildfire at some point there are a bunch of burnt and fallen/falling trees, many of which get in the way of the trail and makes it seem pretty dangerous. The trail seems pretty poorly maintained, though as we were leaving a group of 5 people or so were coming in with axes and saws, so maybe it's just a bit too early in the season for them to have cleaned it up yet.

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Great, decently easy hike with great views of the crags and a nice lake.
If you're feeling adventurous, you can head up to the top of the crags, but the view is at it's best around halfway up, near a cluster of pine trees. Continuing to go up gets scary fast- the rocks are loose and slippery, and you won't see Lassen unless you make it to the very top. We made it probably 90% up.
Overall, it's a solid hike, but I wouldn't recommend going far up the crags, it wasn't worth it.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Thursday, November 26, 2015

This was my first hike while living in Northern California. Amazing, Amazing Views. Speechless. So beautiful. This is one of my most favorites hikes.

hiking
Saturday, January 31, 2015

It's been a while since I've hiked this one, but we did it as a snowshoe hike once (easily accessible from North side of Lassen) & several times in the summer. If you wait too long, the lake dries up! Nice views along the way.

snowshoeing
Thursday, November 01, 2012