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This is a good hike for families as it it relatively short with little elevation gain. An interpretive brochure is available at the trailhead.

The trail leading to Boiling Springs Lake begins at the Pacific Crest Trailhead in the Drakesbad Area of the park. This route leads one and a half miles southeast from the trailhead to a lake fed by hot springs and surrounded by mud pots. The temperature of Boiling Springs Lake is 125 degrees F. It has a milky, beige hue due to the minerals in the water. An interpretive brochure, available at the trailhead, describes the hydrothermic features around the lake as well as the plant life.

Follow the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) southward from trailhead and cross Hot Springs Creek within the first quarter mile. Beyond the creek the trail ascends 80 feet leading out of the valley. Less than a half mile from the trailhead you'll reach a fork. Follow the PCT to the left. You'll reach another fork shortly after the first. This trail leads to Drake Lake, stay left at the second fork. From this fork it is a half mile to the beginning of the loop around Boiling Springs Lake.

The trail continues ascending slowly and turns eastward as it does. Within the next half mile the route ascends 150 feet and reaches a fork in the trail. At this fork the right side leads around the northern and western side of Boiling Springs Lake. The loop's length is seven tenths of a mile. It will bring you back to the PCT after passing the mud pots along the lake shore. The best time to see these features in action is early in the summer season when the ground is still very wet from snow melt. To return to the trailhead follow the PCT northward.

Directions: From Chester, Drive westward on Chester Valley Road approximately five miles to Warner Valley Road (County Road 312). Turn right toward Drakesbad and Warner Valley and follow Warner Valley Road 12 miles to the Pacific Crest Trailhead. This road changes to dirt a few miles before reaching the trailhead. It is not recommended for RVs or trailers.

Elevation: 5,600 feet

Ending Elevation: 5,945 feet

Usage: Heavy

Difficulty: Easy

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Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.