The National Park Service wants hikers to pass through their
entrance stations to pay a fee and receive the rules. This
trail avoids entrance stations by starting in the National
Forest. As a consequence, the Park Service has
abandoned maintenance on the trail.
But the trail users have kept it
open. It is a gorgeous backdoor way to visit Terminal
Geyser (not a geyser, there are none in Lassen. It is
Willow Lake and the adjoining
marshlands are rich in birdlife, including a few
The route-finding is tricky,
so the Avenza version of the maps is recommended for your
iPhone or Android.
There is an excellent
beginners backpack campsite 1/2 mile in at Willow Lake. It
is good Aug-Sept, but also just after snowmelt (before
mosquito season starts) when there are many birds and frogs
in the lake.
In 2021 Willow Lake was
accessible the day
Humbug snow pillow went to zero (there were some snow
patches on the road so walked the last 0.8 mile of the road)