Trail Tour: Subway Cave Trail 

Over the weekend Kathryn and I did a little fall camping in Lassen Volcanic National Park. While we barely scratched the surface of everything this area has to offer, we did discover something really cool: The Subway Cave Trail.

The Subway Cave Trail, located in Lassen National Forest near the town of Hat Creek is less than a mile long and worth every step. The trail features a cave tunnel formed thousands of years ago by flowing lava.

Kathryn descends into the Subway Cave.

The trailhead starts at the parking lot. The short well maintained trail leads you up a hill to the opening of the cave. At the entrance, a set of stairs leads you into the cold, pitch black abyss. We were instantly amazed by everything – the temperature change, the absolute dark, the uneven ground. As you make your way through the cave, well placed plaques reveal geological information about the specific area your in.

As we made our way to the end of the cave, the light from the opening illuminated a set of stairs to guide us back to the top where the trail continues in a loop leading you towards the parking lot. We decided against taking the high road back, and opted to walk back through the cave.

Come prepared! Make sure to bring a headlamp or flashlight, it’s pitch black for about a third of a mile. Pack some extra layers, the temperature can be 20 degrees cooler in the cave. Finally, wear closed-toe shoes as the cave floor is painstakingly uneven.

Beautiful Texture
The cave floor is uneven and beautiful

Neither of us had experienced anything like this before! We were fascinated like kids on an epic field trip. Although the trail was short, it’s definitely worth it! We hope you check it out next time you’re in the area.

Cave love. 

We wanna know, what cave trails do you recommend?

Happy adventures,


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