Most of Lassen’s attractions are centered around volcanic heat, steam, and boiling water, which makes these two hikes to cool waterfalls especially refreshing. Starting from Southwest campground at the park’s southern entrance, Mill Creek Falls is a 3.8-mile/6-km round-trip that passes through a huge field of mule’s ears, their bright yellow flowers blooming cheerfully in July, and under the shade of massive red firs. Mill Creek Falls, at 75 feet/23 meters tall, is the park’s highest waterfall.
Heading north up the main park road, the Kings Creek Falls hike is a 2.4-mile/3.8-km round-trip walk (or 3 miles if you take an alternate route, designated for horses, that is less steep). The hike takes you downhill through a verdant meadow, then continues down a rocky staircase alongside Kings Creek. The boisterous waterfall is about 50 feet/15 meters high and tucked into a shady canyon; arrive in the late morning for your best chance of good photos. Cool your feet before heading back up the stairs to the trail.