The Gillem Buff Trail is a moderately strenuous trail that starts fairly level, but climbs steeply to the top of the rounded cliff of the bluff. The trail is well maintained but can be quite rocky at places. Views of the park's geological features from the viewpoint are impressive and worth the steep hike. The lava flow surrounding Gillem Bluff is also the park's oldest geological feature; the lava flow is estimated to be two million years old.
The length of the Gillem Bluff Trail in Lava Beds National Monument is 0.7 miles and requires around 26 minutes to hike one-way. The trail has a maximum elevation of 4,466 feet, a cumulative elevation gain of 0.5 miles and a cumulative elevation loss of 0.2 miles.
The following chart shows the total calories that you can expend on the Gillem Bluff Trail while hiking (round-trip) at a typical speed and is based on gross weight (which includes anything carried), the topography, trail length and trail conditions.
Captain Jacks Stronghold Topo Map: Download the free Gillem Bluff Trail topo map and the adjoining quads to plan your hike. These are full-sheet, 7.5 Minute (1:24,000 scale) Lava Beds National Monument topographic maps.
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