Friday, September 10, 2010

Bumpass Hell, Lassen Volcanic NP

The hike around the Manzanita Lake took less time then we thought it would, so we decided to drive through the park and go hiking to Bumpass Hell. That was a very lucky decision as during the coming night the sky broke and started raining cats and dogs. So if we hadn't gone hiking there on that Friday, likely we wouldn't have gone there at all. That would be a big loss as hydrothermal features at Bumpass Hell are truly spectacular and as nothing that we had seen before.

The hike to the Bumpass Hell is 1.5-mile long (one way) and it steadily climbs up 700 ft before dropping 200 ft to the valley filled with roaring fumaroles, boiling pools, thumping mud pots, and steaming ground. One amazing thing about it is that as soon as you reach the top of the hill from which the views of the Bumpass Hell open up, you can hear the fumaroles roaring. And, boy, they are really loud! When we first heard them, Anil thought it was a sound of the accelerating car. To me it sounded more like a plane crossing the sound barrier. But soon we realized that neither was true, as the sound was getting louder and louder the closer we were getting to the bottom of the valley.

The other thing that I really liked about the Bumpass Hell was the colors. Contrary to the surroundings, everything there was in beautiful pastel colors, making this place even more unique and spectacular. I would give this hike the highest possible mark and would strongly recommend it to anybody. I am sure that Anil and I will still go on this hike again, next time we visit Lassen Volcanic NP. We decided to visit Lassen again, as due to heavy downpour we did not manage to go for two longer hikes that we planned: Brokeoff Mountain and Lassen Peak.

The beginning of the hike:

First views of the Bumpass Hell:

Bumpass Hell up close: