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    Cinder Cone Nature Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    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.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    6.4 km
    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.
    318 m
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    Directions to Trailhead
    Cinder Cone Nature Trail

    Short in distance and with a moderate amount of elevation incline, the Cinder Cone Nature Trail is a family-friendly route with lots to offer! Leading you on a fascinating and informative journey throughout an incredible volcanic formation, the trail is mesmerizing in its uniqueness. In addition to its intriguing geology, the views found throughout the Cinder Cone Nature Trails duration are sublime.

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    Route Description for Cinder Cone Nature Trail

    As most of the elevation incline along the Cinder Cone Nature Trail is on the Cinder Cone itself, this section is rather steep. We, therefore, recommend wearing a good pair of hiking boots and bringing a set of hiking poles to help aid you on the steep gradient. Also, expect to hike up sand! You may look at the numbers and think, “Hmm the elevation gain doesn’t look so bad,” but ascending sandy terrain adds another level of difficulty to this hike. Likewise, not much shade exists throughout the route, so we suggest wearing sunscreen and a good hat to help protect you from the sun.

    The Cinder Cone Nature Trail is an incredible route because of how unique it is. Not many routes offer both incredible sightlines of the surrounding area and the chance to walk along a fascinating geological formation - and yet the Cinder Cone Nature Trail boasts both! Having parked your vehicle, follow the Butte Lake to Snag Lake Trail to make its way southwest. The terrain is relatively flat at first and possesses little elevation incline. However, you will soon arrive at a junction within the trail, where you are to continue along the Butte Lake to Snag Lake Trail by taking the southern pathway.

    The elevation will begin to incline slightly as you approach Cinder Cone and, having reached the Cinder Cone Junction, follow the eastern pathway as it makes its way up the northern side of Cinder Cone. Here, the elevation becomes rather steep, so take your time and watch your footing. You will soon arrive at the summit of Cinder Cone, where you should take some time and explore its crater and admire the views of the surrounding landscape.

    Once you're ready, continue on along Cinder Cone Trail as it makes its way down the southern side of Cinder Cone and then travels around its western side to deliver you back at Cinder Cone Junction. From Cinder Cone Junction, all you need to do to get back to the trailhead is backtrack your steps.

    Trail Highlights

    Lessen Cinder Cone

    The Lassen Cinder Cone is a 239 m high cinder cone volcano within Lassen Volcanic National Park. An incredible geological feature, the Lassen Cinder Cone was created during eruptions that sent gases and hot magma bursting through the earth's crust. During two eruptions in the 1650’s, the Lassen Cinder Cone established its characteristic shape when debris from the eruption fell from the sky and began to cool in a cone shape around the volcano's vent.

    Insider Hints for Cinder Cone Nature Trail

    • It can get dusty along the route, so sunglasses are suggested!
    • Bring lots of water - it can get hot.
    • Butte Lake is excellent for a post-hike swim!
    • Keep an eye out for wildlife. While the terrain might not seem like it, it is teeming with life.

    Getting to the Cinder Cone Nature Trail Trailhead

    The trailhead for Cinder Cone Nature Trail is located at a parking lot off of Butte Lake Road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Butte Lake Campground

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type


    Cinder Cone Nature Trail Elevation Graph

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    Cinder Cone Nature Trail Reviews

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