Book Now
Browse Lodging Options
Visit Redding, California
Visit Redding, California

Hiking to Kings Creek Falls in Lassen Volcanic National Park

By Redding CVB | 05/21/2019 | Family Friendly , Great Outdoors, State & National Parks, Things to See and Do, Trails, Waterfalls

Kings Creek Falls. Photo by Julie Boyd / @BoundToExplore

King’s Creek Falls is a 40-foot waterfall located in the middle of Lassen Volcanic National Park. The trail is moderate, which makes it a perfect adventure for the casual hiker, or a nice add on to the nearby Lassen Peak for more experienced hikers. Although it is only accessible during the summer and fall, it's one of the best hikes in the park.

NOTE: The best time to travel to Lassen Volcanic National Park is mid-June through October. The park is partially open as of May 20 but the highway through the park connecting the northern and southern entrances is being cleared from snow-pack. The trail to Kings Creek Falls is not open yet. See more updates on the park by clicking here.

Getting There

Round Trip Distance: 3.0 miles 

Elevation Gain: 700 feet

One of the things I love about staying in Redding is its proximity to many of the hiking trails in Lassen Volcanic National Park. From Downtown Redding, take Highway 44 West toward Lassen. Turn right on Highway 89 - Lassen Volcanic Scenic Byway which will take you into the park. Be sure to stop by the Loomis Ranger station to grab a map, and use the facilities, as there are none at the trailhead. The trailhead is easy to spot on the south side of the highway. There is limited parking, mostly in dirt turnouts along the road, so I recommend arriving early.

The Trail

Hike to Kings Creek Falls. Photo by Julie Boyd / @BoundToExplore

The trail gradually descends from the road, and meanders through a pine forest along the edge of King’s Creek Meadow. In the summer, you might be treated to wildflowers blooming if you time your visit right. Soon, you will arrive at a split, however the sign indicating that the path to the right is one way, makes it easy to navigate taking the left route (don’t worry, you will come back up the other way). 

After a small, short uphill, you will be treated to spectacular views in a clearing that rests on top of the creek, below you can hear the rushing water, an indicator that the falls are near.

Hike to Kings Creek Falls. Photo by Julie Boyd / @BoundToExplore

From here, the real descent begins. The trail gradually switchbacks down along an exposed hillside, and then dives back into the woods. Continue for just a bit further, and you will come upon the viewing platform for the falls.

After you have absorbed the cool air and taken a few photos, head back along the Upper Cascades Trail. This is marked as steep and narrow, but Brian and I thought it couldn’t be worse than going back up the exposed switchbacks in the afternoon heat. It also looked more shaded, and we were excited to see a different part of the trail. Our intuition was correct because the way back was pretty easy for us. There was some shade, but also since the trail follows the cascades above the falls, it was much cooler in temperature. There was a short section of stone steps along the creek, but they were pretty manageable. Just take it slow, and take breaks if you need to catch your breath. 

Kings Creek Falls. Photo by Julie Boyd / @BoundToExplore

Just past the top of the steps, you will reunite with the split in the trail from earlier, and after a short walk, you will be back to the road. If you plan on having a snack or relaxing after your hike, I recommend heading up to the King’s Creek Picnic Area, which has a parking lot and picnic tables. This way you can free up parking space for those wanting to hike down to the falls.

Hike to Kings Creek Falls.Photo by Julie Boyd / @BoundToExplore

Hike to Kings Creek Falls.Photo by Julie Boyd / @BoundToExplore

Final Thoughts

King’s Creek Falls is a great, moderate hike in Lassen Volcanic National Park. It is also part of a larger loop trail to Bench and Stifford Lakes, so if you want to extend your adventure a few more miles, that is a great option as well. Thanks for following along with us on our adventure!

About the Author

This article was written by Julie Boyd of Bound To Explore. Her and husband Brian Callender are a married couple with full-time jobs and a passion for travel. They spend most of their free time exploring their native state of California, while dreaming about and planning their next adventures abroad.

Hiking to Kings Creek Falls in Lassen Volcanic National Park
3 Hikes to Lose Yourself in Nature in Lassen Volcanic National Park
There is nothing quite like being outdoors, and experiencing the solitude found on the trail. I also love that hiking can be for everyone. Whether you prefer summiting a mountain peak, climbing along a cascading creek, or taking a stroll…
Redding -- your perfect getaway for hiking adventures and an outdoor vacation
In Redding, located in the heart of UpState CA, you'll find an endless outdoor adventure playground perfect for all ages and interests. Hiking is one of the activities we do best around here with more than 225 miles of trails…
10 Amazing Waterfalls to See in Northern California
An international outdoor destination ringed by the Southern Cascades to the east and the much smaller range of the Trinity Alps to the west, Redding is a hotspot for waterfall chasers. It’s an area with both short and long winding…
10 Awesome National & State Park Day Trips Worth Taking from Redding
Wild, uncrowded, and memorable—these are the defining features of the far Northern California outdoors. The expanse of public lands around the town of Redding features an endless lineup of outdoor adventures, from fly fishing to summit bagging to scenic driving.…
Why Redding Is An Underrated Mountain Bike Town
In far Northern California, the promise of uncrowded trails means plenty of space to spread out and shred the singletrack—and Redding serves as the best base camp to explore it all. Within 15 miles, you’ll find more than 225 miles…
A Visitor's Guide to Downtown Redding
It’s no secret that Redding, California, is well known as a world-class outdoor destination, drawing active types from all over to hike in the surrounding Shasta-Cascade mountains, raft and fish in crystal-clear rivers, and spend lazy summer days on the…
The 11 Best Hikes in Northern California
It’s no secret that California is home to some of the best hiking in the country, especially in the northern part of the state. With a lifetime’s worth of hiking opportunities, the tough part can be zeroing in on one…
How to Plan a Perfect Couples Getaway in Redding
Whether your perfect date includes stargazing in a national park, watching the sunset over a vineyard, or enjoying a night on the town, you can find it in Redding, California, a fantastic place to spend time with your special someone.…
8 Fun Winter Activities for the Whole Family in Redding, CA
Redding, California, sits in the backyard of some of Northern California’s best outdoor recreation and wilderness, from majestic Mt. Shasta to lesser-known gems amid the Siskiyou and Cascade ranges. Redding makes for a great home base for outdoor adventure in…
Top 7 Attractions You Want to Cross off Your Bucket List in Redding, CA
Burney Falls. Photo courtesy of @jermverde on InstagramSteeped in state history and beset by the Sacramento River, Redding has since 1844 existed as the deserving home of satisfied locals. Since first inhabited by Wintu Native Americans, Redding has plays host…
Exploring the Undiscovered Gems of UpState CA With Redding as Your Home Base
A nearly uninterrupted expanse of forest teeming with snow-capped volcanoes, trails, and wild rivers makes Northern California’s Shasta Cascade region an unparalleled hub for outdoor adventure. The area encompasses 20 percent of the state’s land mass but has less than…
10 Extreme Adventures to Try on Your Next Trip to Redding, CA
Imagine a place where a weekend can involve cliff jumping into waterfall-fed pools, backcountry skiing on an active volcano, rock climb on granite spires, and whitewater rafting wild rivers. Sounds like paradise, right? For those of us familiar with Northern…
6 Can't-Miss Outdoor Experiences That You Can Only Have in Redding, California
The northernmost portion of California is a dream come true for outdoor enthusiasts, and the city of Redding sits smack dab in the middle, making it an ideal base camp for boaters, rafters, sailors, hikers, and cyclists (just to name…
The Ultimate Guide to Lake & Water Life in Redding
Redding might be the largest city in the Shasta Cascade region of Northern California, but that doesn’t mean you’ll find the crowds that you think of when you hear “California.” In fact, this area makes up the 20 percent of…
Final Draft Brewing Company: More Than Just Tasty Beer
It is easy to find yourself stuck in a routine not wanting to branch out and try new options. Redding has some really awesome breweries, but I found one or two that I liked and stopped exploring others. I have…
Why Redding, California Is the Family Getaway You Didn't Know You Needed
If you think you know California, but haven’t visited the northern Shasta Cascade region, also known as UpStateCA, you’re missing out on some of the best outdoor recreation and natural beauty the Golden State has to offer. Situated in the…
Hiking Castle Lake Offers Inspiring Views
One of the most beautiful views in all of California is from the top of Castle Lake. Nestled in the mountains with a gap on the northern end that opens to a vista of the mighty Mt. Shasta. When the…
Armando's Gallery House - A Redding Dining Experience Like No Other
The old adage of don't judge a book by its cover couldn't be more of a fit when it comes to Armando's Gallery House. If you are looking to add something to your list of Top 10 things to do…
Explore Waterfalls in Every Direction from Redding
Editor's note: Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is scheduled to open Memorial Day Weekend 2019.Head in any direction from Redding and you are bound to run into one of the many breathtaking waterfalls we have here in Northern California. Some are…

Board of Directors Information Contact Us Website Developed by Drozian Webworks