Subway Cave – A Winter Adventure

Twenty thousand years ago and just 15 miles north of Lassen Volcanic National Park, the ground broke apart and huge volumes of volcanic rock poured forth to create the enormous expanse that is the Hat Creek Lava Flow.

Exposed to the air, the top of the lava flow began to cool and solidify, while molten rock below continued to flow – insulated by the now solid roof and creating lava tubes which carried the red-hot rock miles from its source.

Subway Cave is a section of lava tube less than a third of a mile long, located between two areas of ceiling cave-ins. Substantial concrete steps have been constructed at both ends of the cave, providing easy access for all would-be spelunkers.

– All Trails (Hiking App)


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My daughter going into the darkness of the cave for the first time, a little scary, and very exciting.

We had a big adventure visiting the Subway Cave last Saturday. I had seen it during summer, along with tons of other people. It’s a popular place during the summer months. (It’s easy accessible, and near a campground.) It’s definitely more of an adventure during winter. We didn’t see any other people, and no other vehicles at the parking lot. It’s pitch dark down there, so flash lights is a most if you want to go yourself.

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The entrance of the cave, seen from the outside.


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The entrance of the cave, seen from the inside.


Map of Subway Cave.


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Since we didn’t see any vehicles at the side of the road, or at the parking lot, it was safe to assume that we weren’t going to run into anyone. My dog enjoyed the adventure tremendously!


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Icicles hanging from the roof of the cave.


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Climbing rocks at one of the dead ends, near the exit.


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Walking through Subway Cave towards the exit.


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Dead end near the exit.


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Light at the end of the tunnel – Stairs leading up towards the exit. You can turn around and go back the same way you came, if you want, but the views outside are gorgeous. There’s a nice trail making a loop around the cave, that will take you back to the parking lot.  
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Exit staircase seen from a dead end tunnel.

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It was a beautiful winter day when we visited.

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I hope you enjoyed the visit to Subway Cave as much as we did!



Ms Zen


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As this weekend comes to an end I feel an overwhelming wave of gratitude coming over me. It’s been a fantastic weekend. I have no words. So instead I’m sharing this photo from earlier today. I hope your weekend was magical, relaxing, fun, energizing, and everything else you wanted it to be.


Ms Zen