Subway Cave, Lassen National Forest


What? :

Explore the underground lava tube.

This easy walking short trail into lava tube is fun activity for the howl family if you are driving near Old Station (the junction of highway 44 with highway 89).


Where? :

Located north of Old Station. The road entrance from highway 89 is located 1000 ft north of the junction with highway 44. A short drive will take you to the parking lot.

Google Map Link



When? :

Subway Cave is open from about late April each year after the snow melt to October.



Due note 1: Bring a flashlight, even a cellphone light can help you find the way in this short cave.


Due note 2: The temperature inside the cave remains a cool 46 degrees F.


Due note 3: Pets are not allowed in the cave.


Due note 4: Restrooms and drinking water are available near the parking lot.


Due note 5: The cave is one long tunnel so you can’t get yourself lost.



My thoughts:

I drove by near this cave many times but never walk in. This is nice lava tube not as impressive as the lava tubes that are in Lava Beds National Monument, but it is fun to have a short stop on your way and visit this place.



How the cave was formed:

Less than 20,000 years ago large lava flow covered 16 miles of Hat Creek Valley. While the top crust cooled and hardened, rivers of hot lava continued to flow in the tubes. Eventually, the lava drained away, leaving empty tube-like caves. The entrance to the cave was formed by a collapse of the cave’s roof.



The visit:

The self-guided trail is approximately 1/2 mile long.

From the parking lot there is a very short trail leading to the cave entrance.

Stairs leading down into the open of the cave.

Once you enter the cave and start to progress inward it get completely dark, so don't forget to bring a flashlight.

After short walk inside the cave and few bends you will see the light from the exit where another set of stirs leading out.

The cave itself is big, you do not need to crawl or bend and the floor, unlike other lava caves, is relatively flat.


This is a very short walk from one side of the cave to the other side.

You can walk back to the parking lot or as we did walk back into the cave and went back on the same way we walked in.


This is short fun walk, a rest on your trip where kids and adult will enjoy at.






Additional Pictures: