This area is rated highly and with reason. It is quite a geothermal event. Please note that during drought years and towards the end of summer not as active. Spring and early summer best during a wet year is even better. During wet conditions the very milky green lake can boil rapidly as the vents are covered with more water, and the ground can shake because of lake being full . Like being on Mars, waiting for Major Tom to walk out of the alien mists to ask if you know where ground control is.
Years ago during a very wet year I took my kids and they were scared (me too!) from the thumping ground. If you plan to see this and Devils Kitchen too plan for a long day, bring lunch, energy bars and plenty of water.
Access is via the small town of Chester near Lake Almanor- at mid town you head for Drakesbad to get to a little used Park Entrance (self registration strongly advised).
There are no services past Chester, and rough car camping near park entrance. You see a lot of Pacific Crest Trail hikers and they are always in a hurry it seems but if you bring extra water and some energy bars you can get them to stop, chat and snack for a moment and they can tell you some pretty amazing stories of the Mexico to Canada trail.
Mountain lions and Bears can be around- so be aware make noise so not to surprise a bear -never turn and run from a big cat- just act big and aggressive.
This can be one in a lifetime experience when the lake is working itself up, but even in fall or dry conditions one alien place.
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