Subway Cave Trail

EASY 30 reviews
#1 of 18 trails in

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, nature trips, and birding and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
0.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
16 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dog friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

cave

views

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.

hiking
23 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Fun short hike through a dark cave. VERY IMPORTANT: BRING A FLASHLIGHT OR HEADLAMP WITH BATTERIES FULLY CHARGED. It is completely dark in the the cave. There are markers and plaques with info through out the cave. The temperature can be 15F to 20F lower than the outside temperature in the parking lot so you might want a jacket. Highly recommend this hike if your interested in volcanic geology or caves. We loved it.

1 month ago

A totally rad place.

hiking
1 month ago

1 month ago

Bring a flashlight! Its pitch black and completely fascinating. The ground is pretty uneven, but its spacious enough for a claustrophobic. I didn't even have to duck my head. Worth the stop!

hiking
1 month ago

Worth stopping to do when you are here! Doesn't take long and where else can you walk thru lava tubes!?!

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Very short hike takes you through fairly large lava tubes - only took us 10-20 minutes but very cool experience!

hiking
2 months ago

3 months ago

3 months ago

Nice short stop to cool off and stretch your legs.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

Bring a good light! An awesome trail with some rough footing. Amazing lava cave. Everyone should go to experience this geologic trip.

3 months ago

bring my lights!!!

4 months ago

Fun and informative. Could use a sign or two on the trail back to the parking lot.

4 months ago

4 months ago

walking
6 months ago

Fun spot be sure to bring a flashlight during winter you can see large icicles in the caves but it can be slick. Great place for kids.

8 months ago

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)!

9 months ago