Crumbaugh Lake Trail starts at Cold Boiling Lake. To get here from the Kings Creek Picnic Parking Area, go to the end of the parking area and there is a trailhead sign on its south side. This is the start of Cold Boiling Lake Trail
that leads to Cold Boiling Lake and the start of Crumbaugh Lake Trail. Take Cold Boiling Lake Trail
for 0.8 miles, and go left/south onto Crumbaugh Lake Trail.
Crumbaugh Lake Trail starts off in the fir forest. The trail is flat here. The scenic southwest slopes of Bumpass Mountain rise to the right/northwest. A small meadow is soon passed and the trail then re-enters the fir forest. At the 0.5 mile mark, the trail pops out of the forest into a meadow where Crumbaugh Lake is found. A very short spur trail - Crumbaugh Lake Spur
, that takes one across the meadow to the edge of Crumbaugh Lake is found here. After passing Crumbaugh Lake Spur
, Crumbaugh Lake Trail stays in the meadow, crosses a couple small streams that feed Crumbaugh Lake, and circles around the lake.
At the 0.9 mile mark, Crumbaugh Lake Trail leaves Crumbaugh Lake, turns right and re-enters the fir forest. The trail is still flat here and easy running as it travels in the beautiful forest for the next mile. At the 1.9 mile mark, the trail com es out of the forest to travel on the north edge of Conard Meadows for a short ways. Conard Meadows are gorgeous as they extend south with Mt. Conard, 8,204 ft., as their backdrop.
After passing Conard Meadows, Crumbaugh Lake Trail begins a rather steep descent that lasts for about a half mile until the trail ends. Go slowly here to take time to stop and admire the rugged scenery all around. A deep, steep creek valley is to the right with Bumpass Creek at its bottom although the creek can not be seen. Dramatic peaks and pinnacles rise above. Brokeoff Mountain, Diamond Peak, and Lassen Peak
can all be seen at various places along this stretch.
The bottom of the Bumpass Creek Valley is reached just before the trail ends. Bumpass Creek and then East Sulphur Creek are crossed on two sturdy bridges just upstream of where Bumpass Creek empties into East Sulphur Creek which then drops down 70+ feet as Mill Creek Falls
. The top of Mill Creek Falls
can be seen at the 2nd bridge, the bridge over East Sulphur Creek.
Although Crumbaugh Lake Trail ends at these two bridges, the trail continues as Mill Creek Falls Trail
which is well worth running for a short 0.1 miles to a viewing platform to get a good look at Mill Creek Falls
Mature and old growth fir forest with thin ground cover. A few meadows with grasses and Mule's Ear plants. Wildflowers - Mule's Ear, red paintbrush, lupines, and more.