Trail Run Project Logo

Rainbow Lake to Nobles Trail

Intermediate
 4.0 (2)

From the forest to the barren volcanic flats, this trail samples the varied terrain of Lassen Volcanic National Park.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

3.1

Miles

5.1

KM

94%

Runnable

6,662' 2,031 m

High

6,186' 1,886 m

Low

149' 45 m

Up

511' 156 m

Down

4%

Avg Grade (2°)

18%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Commonly Backpacked · Geological Significance · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

Rainbow Lake to Nobles Trail starts in the thin fir forest at a well marked trail junction on the east side of Lower Twin Lake in the Lassen Volcanic National Park backcountry. From here, among the firs, the trail heads northeast over a small rise covered with lupines. Descending gradually, Rainbow Lake comes into view, and is reached at the 0.6 mile mark. The trail then runs along the northern edge of Rainbow Lake for the next quarter mile.

At the northeast corner of Rainbow Lake, a trail junction with Rainbow Lake Trail is reached. Stay left here to continue on Rainbow Lake to Nobles Trail. The trees start to become sparser as the trail makes a short gradual final climb before descending gently to its end. Descending, the trail goes through a regenerating burn zone and views of the surrounding mountains emerge. Forested Prospect Peak, 8.338 ft., is seen to the north. Further on the ridge of peaks to the east come into view.

Healthy forest then returns for a short stretch before the terrain gives way to barren volcanic ash for about the last half mile. Cinder Cone comes into view here. Traveling over the volcanic ash, trees become sparser and finally there are only occasional lone trees dotting the volcanic ash flats.

Rainbow Lake to Nobles Trail ends after 3.1 miles, where it joins Butte Lake to Snag Lake Trail (West) that comes in from the east. This is just shy of Nobles Emigrant Trail (East) that comes in from the west and various trails to Cinder Cone.

Flora & Fauna

Thin fir forest. Wild flowers especially fields of lupines west of Rainbow Lake. Deer. A variety of birds in the western stretch - if you're lucky you'll see Western tanagers.

Contacts

Shared By:

Joan Pendleton with improvements by Tilman Giese

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#5

in Butte Lake

#12102

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
5 Star
0%
4 Star
100%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#5

in Butte Lake

#1,256

in California

#12,102

Overall
2 Views Last Month
114 Since Jun 29, 2021
Intermediate

0%
33%
67%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Cinder Cone with Fantastic Lava Beds at its base, are seen by hikers approaching the northern end of Rainbow Lake to Nobles Trail.
Jun 29, 2021 near Chester, CA
A bit of spring fed greenery stands out in the dry, barren volcanic ash to the west of Cinder Cone.  Cinder Cone is behind Fantastic Lava Beds on the right. Seen looking north from the trail.
Jun 29, 2021 near Chester, CA
Rainbow Lake
Jul 12, 2020 near Chester, CA
Rainbow Lake
Jul 12, 2020 near Chester, CA
Rainbow Lake to Nobles Trail runs through the pine forest, next to the northwest shoreline of beautiful gem-like Rainbow Lake.
Jun 19, 2020 near Chester, CA
Forest hills to the east emerge as Rainbow Lake to Nobles Trail travels through a regenerating burn area.
Jun 29, 2021 near Chester, CA

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Unknown See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

none