This route begins from the Kings Creek Picnic Area approximately 11 miles north of the southwestern entrance of the park. The trail leads in a southwesterly direction and ends at the Southwest Campground. This description details the trek from the picnic area to Conard Meadows. To read about the remainder of the trail see the Mill Creek Falls Trail description.
From the picnic area begin hiking southwestward gaining 80 feet in elevation immediately. In a few minutes the trail levels and you'll hike through a small treeless area then enter into the forest again. One half mile from the trailhead is a junction. The tread leading southward from this junction goes to Twin Meadows and ends at the Spencer Meadow Loop Trail south of Spencer Meadows.
Continue along the Cold Boiling Lake Trail from the junction. In approximately two tenths of a mile you'll reach a second trail junction. Turn right at this junction to reach the southeastern shore of Cold Boiling Lake. If you follow this trail northward around the lake then eastward you'll eventually reach Bumpass Hell.
To reach Crumbaugh Lake follow the trail back to the junction where you turned right. Follow the right fork at the junction (the left fork if you are approaching the junction from Kings Creek Picnic Area). At this junction you are almost one mile from the trailhead.
Hiking toward Crumbaugh Lake the trail is level for a short distance then descends 160 feet to another trail junction. This is the beginning and the end of the loop around the lake. Follow the right side of the fork for the most distinct trail, it contours the northern and western shoreline of Crumbaugh Lake. Walking around this lake you'll have a good perspective of the northern flanks of 8,204-foot Mount Conard. Before reaching the base of the mountain the trail turns westward.
Past Crumbaugh Lake the trail is level for a quarter mile then ascends 80 feet to a saddle. West of the saddle the trail descends into Conard Meadows and the Bumpass Creek drainage. To return to the Kings Creek Picnic Area retrace your steps northeastward.
Directions from Southwest Entrance: Drive northward on Lassen Park Road 11 miles to the turnoff for Kings Creek Picnic Area. Turn right and drive one mile to the parking area and trailhead.
July through Mid-October
(NOTE: Snow may cover the trail in the Early Summer and Fall.)