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September 24, 1863: Warner Valley

September 24, 2013

Boiling Springs Lake

Boiling Springs Lake; by LassenNPS, on Flickr

Camp 148

[Today] our friends showed us some hot springs and other curiosities of the region. We rode through the woods and chaparral for some miles. First came the Boiling Lake, a lake of about four acres of hot water, boiling furiously in many places, and clouds of steam rising from it. Around it the steam issued from hundreds of jets. The rocks have been decomposed by these agencies, and the bed of the lake is of thin, fine clay, which bubbles and sputters like some titanic mush kettle.

Boiling Pool

Devil's Kitchen (Steamboat Springs); by LassenNPS, on Flickr

Two miles from these are the Steamboat Springs, where steam and hot water issue from hundreds of places. There is a pool of boiling water in the canyon, about two rods across, in which there is a mass of water and steam rising, in jets, often six to eight feet high, splashing and roaring incessantly, while clouds of steam roll away up the canyon. Wherever you climb over the bowlders around this you feel hot steam puffing out around you and hear the hissing and gurgling everywhere beneath your feet. We have been in a volcanic region for some days and these springs show that it is not entirely cooled underneath yet.

Thence we went to Willow Lake, a pretty little sheet of water embosomed in the hills. It abounds in trout. The rest had come there in the morning and had caught near two hundred of them. We stopped a little while and I caught my first trout. We returned from our rough ride, tired and hungry, and dined again at the camp of our friends. We made great havoc in the trout and venison, then spent a lively evening around their bright camp fire of huge logs. We returned to our camp, and the thermometer sank…to 15°.

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