“Greetings from Bumpass Hell!”
There’s a postcard your friends won’t soon forget.
Bumpass Hell is—literally—one of the hotspots in Lassen Volcanic National Park. In this active hydrothermal zone, you can listen to popping mud bubbles, whiff the pungent odor of sulphur, and feel the earth’s hot breath on your skin.
Deep beneath Lassen Peak, a molten lava flow keeps this area at a perpetual boil. Melting snow and rain seep into the rock, become superheated, and are forced back to the surface in a constant hydrothermal cycle.
Fumaroles spit searing volcanic gases into the frosty air. Simmering ponds gurgle and froth. Even the ground feels warm to the touch.
The Main Park Road provides panoramic views of the High Sierras and the Cascade Mountains, and more than 150 miles of hiking trails wind through the park’s 106,372 acres.
Walk along the shoreline of Manzanita Lake. Watch steam rise over Boiling Springs Lake. Listen to the sound of bubbling mud. Imagine Atsugewi, Yana, Yahi and Maidu Indian hunters lying in wait for passing deer.
Here you can feel the planet’s heartbeat. Lassen Volcanic National Park is very much alive.
If You Go
Lassen Volcanic National Park offers visitors a vast array of recreational opportunities, including more than 150 miles of trail to hike, more than 200 species of birds to watch, abundant lakes to kayak, canoe, or fish, a new environmentally friendly visitor center, and eight campgrounds to pitch a tent.
The historic Drakesbad Guest Ranch, which has been serving visitors for the last 70 years, is another popular lodging option.
Ranger-led programs for all ages tell about the park’s varied natural and cultural resources, rounding out a trip to the park.