Bumpass Hell Trail

Difficulty
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Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
1-1.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
4.3 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
129 m
User Ratings
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Directions to Trailhead
Bumpass Hell Trail

Bumpass Hell Trail is an extraordinary route within Lassen Volcanic National Park. A short route that can be enjoyed by the entire family, Bumpass Hell Trail delivers you to an otherworldly landscape of magnificent geothermal activity. With an abundance of informative plaques to help educate you on what you are seeing, the Bumpass Hell Trail is an incredible route that will not leave you disappointed!

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Route Description for Bumpass Hell Trail

Bumpass Hell Trail is a highly frequented route within Lassen Volcanic National Park and can therefore become rather crowded - especially on weekends and holidays. To beat the midday crowds, we suggest arriving to do the trail earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon. Lastly, the geothermal activity along the route can be dangerous, so it is important you don't leave the trail!

When visiting Lassen Volcanic National Park, Bumpass Hell Trail should undoubtedly be on your list of must-do hikes! Not only is the geological activity stunning and incredibly intriguing, but the views of the surrounding landscape found along the route duration are breathtaking and should not be understated. Likewise, the Bumpass Hell Trail is fairly short and lacks much elevation fluctuation. This means the route is appropriate for families with young children and practically anyone else who may be interested.

Having arrived at the trailhead, follow the Bumpass Hell Trail as it makes its way north from the parking lot. Traveling over flat terrain, the route will then begin to veer to the east before delivering you to a beautiful vista where scenic views of Lassen Peak and Lake Helen can be enjoyed. Once you've taken some time to take in the sightlines, follow the trail as it veers south.

The pathway will continue along its southern heading for a few hundred feet before veering sharply to the east. With Bumpass Mountain visible to your east, the Bumpass Hell Trail will cross a creek and arrive at the mesmerizing Bumpass Hell geological feature. Having taken some time to explore, simply backtrack your steps towards the trailhead and your waiting vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it called Bumpass Hell?

Bumpass Hell was given its name in the late 1800’s by a man named Kendall Bumpass. Bumpass was showing the geological feature to some regional politicians when he slipped and - rather embarrassingly - fell into one of the boiling sulfuric pits. Burning his leg in the process, Bumpass’s last name was forever linked to the area.

What kind of volcanic features is Bumpass Hell?

Bumpass Hell is a hydrothermal geological feature. This means that groundwater is being heated and turned into steam from geothermal vents originating deep within the earth's crust.

Insider Hints for Bumpass Hell Trail

  • Do not leave the trail! The hydrothermal ground can be dangerous.
  • Extra parking can be found along the eastern shore of Helen Lake.
  • Not much shade exists throughout the route, so bring sunscreen and a good hat!
  • Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife!

Getting to the Bumpass Hell Trail Trailhead

The trailhead for Bumpass Hell Trail is located at a parking lot off of Lassen Peak Highway.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    April-October

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Good

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Bumpass Hell Trail Elevation Graph

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Bumpass Hell Trail Reviews

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