Subway Cave

Useful Information

Location: Near Old Station Visistor Center, 400 m north of the junction of Highway 44 and 89, across from Cave Campground.
Open: MAY to OCT daily.
Fee: free
Classification: Speleologylava tube
Light: none, bring torch
Dimension: T=8 °C, L=400 m.
Guided tours: self guided tour, L=535 m.
Address: Hat Creek Ranger District, P. O. Box 220, Fall River Mills, CA 96028, Tel: +1-530-336-5521
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Subway Cave is a lava tube, formed in the Hat Creek lava flow, less than 20,000 years ago. A series of north-south fissures erupted, and the lava flew north for about 25 km until it stopped, covering the floor of Hat Creek Valley. This lava flow contains several lava tubes, but Subway Cave is the largest known.

The cave is located in Lassen National Forrest at road 44/89 north of the Old Station Visitor Information Center. From the parking a trail leads to the entrance, the cave is entered on a stairway at a place where the former roof collapsed, called Devil's Doorway. Soon after the entrance, a small widening of the tunnel is called Stubtoe Hall. Now the tunnel becomes rather narrow for some time, until Lucifer's Cul-de-Sac turns off to the left side. A wider passage goes to the biggest chamber of the cave called the Sanctum. The last part of the tube is again rather narrow and called Lavacicle Lane, because of the lava structures found here. Similar to the entrance, the cave ends at a collapse of the ceiling called Rattlesnake Collapse. A last sight is the lava bubble at the far right of this place. Now the cave is left on another stairway, and a trail to the right leads back to the car park above ground.