Cinder Cone Trail

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California 96063

Elevation Gain1,055ft
Trailhead Elevation6,083ft
Elevation Min/Max6063/6895ft
Elevation Start/End6083/6083ft

Cinder Cone Trail

Cinder Cone Trail is a hiking trail in Lassen County and Shasta County, California. It is within Lassen Volcanic Wilderness and Lassen Volcanic National Park. It is three miles long and begins at 6,083 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.4 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,055 feet. The Butte Lake Parking is near the trailhead. There are also restrooms. This trail connects with the following: Emigrant Trail.

Cinder Cone Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"As its name suggests, many of the features of Lassen Volcanic National Park are centered on the geologic processes of volcanism. The Cinder Cone Nature Trail celebrates this theme, with stark black chunks of lava, volcanic bombs, vast cinder and ash fields, and lava-scorched tree snags providing the setting for the primary feature of the trail, the 700-foot Cinder Cone. The self-guided trail—described in a brochure available at the trailhead—leads through a devastated landscape of recent volcanic activity.

The 14 numbered posts on the route are keyed to information in the brochure about the geologic, cultural, and natural history of the area. Initially, the path, which wanders through a pine forest to the edge of a massive lava flow, follows in the footsteps of early pioneers on the Nobles Emigrant Trail. Then it leaves the pioneer route to attack the steep slopes on the way to Cinder Cone’s rim and a panoramic view of the surrounding terrain and nearby features such as Fantastic Lava Beds, Painted Dunes, and Snag and Butte lakes. Fittingly, the park’s most prominent feature, Lassen Peak, dominates the view."

"Cinder Cone’s volcanic wonderland combines with a gently undulating trail around two of Lassen Park’s largest lakes to make a good overnight backpacking trip. The journey offers open views of Lassen Peak and other prominent mountains from Cinder Cone’s summit and the shores of both Butte and Snag Lakes. Backpackers must obtain a permit from Loomis Museum at the park's northwest entrance station, from the park's Mineral office, or from the Almanor Ranger District in Chester. West-bound pioneers traveled part of this trail in the mid-1800s."

"If Lassen Peak is the heart of Lassen Volcanic National Park, then the Cinder Cone is its navel. It even resembles a navel—a brown outie plunked in the belly of a grand volcanic basin that sprawls at the foot of Prospect Peak. But while Lassen Peak is the focus of the park, the vital force that underlies it pulsing in nearby hot springs and mudpots, the Cinder Cone remains out of the mainstream, tucked away in a corner of the park, quiet but never forgotten. It may be less majestic, but the Cinder Cone is closely related to Lassen Peak, for the same powerful forces have created both, and also produced the remarkable landscapes that surround them. Highlights: This remarkable trail leads to the rim of the Cinder Cone. And if that’s not enough of a thrill for you, you can climb down into the crater itself."

"The large lakes, acres of rock piles, and snowy miniature hills that surround Cinder Cone make for a fairy tale setting so surreal that it’s like visiting an alien world. You get to snowshoe by it and then look down on it all atop perfectly symmetrical Cinder Cone, the centerpiece of this classic, volcanic wonderland."

Cinder Cone Trail Reviews

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Trail Information

Lassen Volcanic National Park
Nearby City
Lassen Volcanic Wilderness
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Local Contacts
USGS Prospect Peak, Mount Harkness
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Oct 2018