Cinder Cone Nature Trail

MODERATE 33 reviews

Cinder Cone Nature Trail is a 4.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Westwood, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

4.7 miles
1115 feet





nature trips

trail running



wild flowers


Marvel at Lassen's volcanic landscape from atop the rim of a cinder cone. 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. Cinder cones are scattered all around you at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Some are in plain sight and others are overgrown and hidden by forest, but none are more recent and more spectacular than the Cinder Cone that created the Fantastic Lava Beds and the colorful Painted Dunes eleven miles north east of Lassen Peak. Our five and a half mile day hikes takes you to the top of Cinder Cone where you can marvel at a landscape transformed by volcanic activity. Elevation gain: - 800ft (from 6,140 - 6,820ft)

6 days ago

Amazing hike though the final part hiking up the cinder cone is is very steep (I think a ranger said it gains 700 ft in .5 miles). Definitely worth it though, just bring lots of water and prepare to get a bit dusty.

8 days ago

8 days ago

13 days ago

23 days ago

Had snow on parts of the trail which made it more difficult than normal, but the effort is always worth the hike!

1 month ago

Went the past weekend 5/13/17 and the trail up the cone was covered in snow but there is access around back which is quite steep and all gravel, or lava rock if you will! Very cool terrain and views of the painted dunes.

2 months ago

2 months ago

Its not an easy hike, but when you get to the top e everything is colorful, you can see how the volcano change the landscape, plus we saw a brown bear while driving to the area.

7 months ago

Finished this trail today. Pretty brutal. Combination of the snow and ash terrain made the ascent extremely difficult, but I did it. I thought the descent through the Bypass was also dicey, as the initial trail down was steep and was very rocky. So had to take it slow going down or else I would've slipped.

All in all, very challenging hike in the snow and can imagine it would still be challenging during other seasons. Would recommend if you're in the area!

8 months ago

huff puff!
we went up the steep face & cane back via the "bypass" which is maybe the better way.
so the approach is lovely but note that it is like walking in sand and when you get to the cone ascent it changes from sand to deep pebbles (huff puff). keep going it's worth it. if you're in decent shape it's about a 20 min ascent. a couple we spoke with took their time and it was about 40 minutes to do the ascent.
really beautiful & interesting. if it's hot out - know it's fully exposed for the full ascent and at the top.

about 6 miles off road driving to get there - very doable in a regular car but dang dusty.

9 months ago

9 months ago

It is worth it. Sunset was beautiful. wouldn't recommend during hot days

9 months ago

10 months ago

this trail is reason enough to spend a night at Butte Lake campground. the track is loose the whole way, and the last half mile is challenging but you will be very glad to have done it. wonderful views in every direction!

10 months ago

Friday, June 24, 2016

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Friday, June 10, 2016

Saturday, February 06, 2016

My daughter and I went with her school. We had a blast!! Looking forward to going again with my younger child.