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Devil’s Kitchen and Boiling Springs Lake, Lassen National Park, California, USA

Devil’s Kitchen, Lassen National Park, California

If you want to walk amongst hot springs, fumaroles and mud pots, this is the place to go to. At 4.2 mile round trip, it is a little longer than Lassen’s more popular Bumpass Hell hike. At the end of the hike, there was a boardwalk that allowed us closer views of the colorful pools, smoking hot springs and gurgling mud pots.  This is another place where I feel that pictures just don't do justice to what really stood before us.

McArthur-Burney Memorial State Park, Burney, USA

McArthur-Burney Memorial State Park, Burney, CA

McArthur-Burney Falls is a 129 foot waterfall fed by underground springs about ½ hour north of Subway Cave in Lassen National Park. It is twice as wide as it is tall, making it quite a sight to encounter. It is one of the more impressive falls I have seen. The hike to the bottom of the Falls was 0.3 mile away, paved and busy. Many people stayed at the foot of the falls to enjoy it's mist. Being a little crowd-aversed, we took a few pictures and continued on our way along the 1.2 mile Falls Loop Trail.

Butte Lake Area, Lassen National Park, California, USA

Cinder Cone, Lassen National Park, California

Kootenay National Park, British Columbia, Canada

Kootenay National Park is a smaller of the Rocky Mountains National Parks. If you paid the entrance fees at one of the other Rocky Mountain National Parks, that fee covers this park as well, as long as your entrance ticket is still valid, by date.  Kootenay borders Banff National Park on its (Banff's) southwestern boundary.  We drove through Kootenay National Park on our way home. Kootenay National Park, near Radium Hot Springs is also known for hot springs you can bathe in. Highway 93, the highway we took out of Banff led us directly towards our next two stops. 

Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Banff National Park is a beautiful mountainous National Park in the Canadian Rockies that is easily accessible from the Calgary Airport.  Hikes in Banff seemed busier than in Jasper but not shoulder to shoulder as we have experienced in our closest National Park, Yosemite, on a weekend. There are many hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops in Banff. I suspect many travelers fly into Calgary, drive to Banff and make their way to Jasper via the Icefields Parkway. All the mountain parks here are grizzly and black bear habitat.  We carried bear spray in a harness on our belt on all our hikes and my littlest son made plenty of noise to scare off any bears that might not smell us coming. No bear encounters on our hikes.