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Like the much more popular Bumpass Hell, Devils Kitchen is a collection of various hydrothermal features in Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Unlike its well-known counterpart, however, Devils Kitchen is in the relatively quiet Warner Valley, an area of the park that receives many fewer visitors.
If you’d rather skip Bumpass Hell and avoid the busy-season traffic, you could instead see many of the same features at Devils Kitchen. From the Warner Valley trailhead, you’ll cross verdant wet meadows on a trail and boardwalks.
A bit of steam and a slight smell of sulfur rise from Hot Springs Creek, which is crossed on a bridge.
This is merely a preview of the hydrothermal activity still to come.
The trail turns uphill and into a fragrant conifer forest.
The creek tumbles nearby, and you may step across a few small streams as the trail leads higher into the valley. You’ll likely smell it before you see it––the sulfurous steam of Devils Kitchen.
The trail drops sharply into a valley within the valley, where the air lies thick with pungent humidity.
Forest crowns the rim of this basin, but within it are slopes of bare, pale earth and puddles of fuming liquid.
The [Park Service](https://www.nps.gov/lavo/planyourvisit/hiking_devils_kitchen.htm) describes “crackled yellow and red mounds of the kitchen where steam whirls from fiery cracks in the ground, sounds of plopping, hissing, and belching fill your ears and the smell of ‘something’ cooking lingers in the air.” This is an otherworldly place that you must explore with your own senses.
A short loop trail leads among the features, so you can see them up close.
After walking the loop, you can return the way you came to the trailhead.
Another option, however, is to backtrack some of the way then connect with the trail to Dream Lake, for a bonus destination. Sources: https://www.nps.gov/lavo/planyourvisit/hiking_devils_kitchen.htm https://sierranevadageotourism.org/entries/devils-kitchen-lassen-volcanic-national-park/5936d387-c600-4b11-a334-44f18f1ffdf3