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Subway Cave, Lassen National Forest

Descend into the dark volcanic underworld of the Subway Cave lava tube for a short yet highly memorable hike.

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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 0.4 miles
Duration: Less than 1 hour
Family Friendly

Overview :  Twenty thousand years ago and just 15 miles north of Lassen Volcanic National Park, the ground broke apart and huge volumes of... more »

Tips:  • Flashlights are a necessity in the cave. Forgetful folk may be able to rent them from the information center at Old Station, just... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead

The parking lot and trailhead is located at the end of a well-signed road just north of Old Station, CA on state route 89. Here you’ll find plenty of parking, a restroom and several interpretive signs.

Grab your flashlights and your jackets (it does get cool down there) and head along the trail and then up a set of steps before reaching the... More

2. Devil's Doorway

Someone got a little carried away when it came to naming some of the cave’s features, but we’ll forgive them for trying to make geology more exciting. Although it’s not like Subway Cave isn’t dramatic enough already.

Descend the wide concrete steps at Devil’s Doorway and enter the mouth of the lava tube. There’s no point waiting for your eyes... More

3. Rattlesnake Collapse

Daylight returns at the end of the Subway Cave tour and return to the surface up the concrete steps.

There are two routes back to the parking lot from here - a sharp right turn will take you back on the quickest route, or you can follow our guide on a slightly longer, quieter more pleasant journey through scrub and partial forest.

4. PCT Junction

At the PCT junction bear right.

5. Road Junction

Upon reaching the road take another right turn, following the pavement back to the parking lot and the trailhead.