Kings Creek Falls (Lassen NP)

June 20, 2020, King’s Creek Falls trailhead

I found myself with time to kill in Lassen National Park, having hiked to the summit of the park’s main volcano well before noon. being mid-June, many of the park’s signature attractions were still closed, due to snow, including the signature Bumpass Hell area with its steam vents and bubbling mud pits. That said, Kings Creek Falls caught my eye as a fun cool-down hike.

Signage at the trailhead for Kings Creek Falls in Lassen National Park.
Signage at the trailhead for Kings Creek Falls in Lassen National Park.

The Approach

The trail begins with some modest tree cover along the namesake Kings Creek. It was still Spring here: technically, by one day, but also functionally, given Lassen’s late snowmelt. And lots of green, leafy things sprouted up out of the marshy, muddy grounds.

Green shoots along Kings Creek en route to its large falls.
Green shoots along Kings Creek en route to its large falls.

I found the namesake creek quite charming. It wound about through the meadow surrounded by conifers. I’m not sure you could ask for a more idyllic scene.

Kings Creek winds through a meadow surrounded by greenery and June snowmelt in Lassen National Park.
Kings Creek winds through a meadow surrounded by greenery and June snowmelt in Lassen National Park.

After a short ways, the trail split in two. A sign advised downhill traffic to keep left. This brought me out towards an open rocky ledge with some expansive views into the park. Then the trail descended towards the Falls.

Kings Creek Falls

Then I reached the falls! They were nice … for a west coast waterfall 🙂

Kings Creek Falls in Lassen National Park.
Kings Creek Falls in Lassen National Park.

After soaking in the Falls I began the modest climb back towards the trailhead. This ascent went directly along the creek up some fun narrow stone steps along minor waterfalls. The roaring water and fun setting helped to distract from the climb in full sun. That said, there were more than a couple casual day trippers stopping to catch their breath here.

After reaching the falls, the trail ascends back along the creek via some fun, carved-stone stairways.
After reaching the falls, the trail ascends back along the creek via some fun, carved-stone stairways.

I arrived back at the (shady) trailhead, and began my journey home from Lassen. About an hour downhill from the park, I stopped to take in one last view of Lassen Peak and Brokeoff Mountain, lit up in the distance by the afternoon sun. It was a nice day all around!

Lassen Peak and Brokeoff Mountain, seen from the west in afternoon sun.
Lassen Peak and Brokeoff Mountain, seen from the west in afternoon sun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.