Big Nasty Trail
Lava Beds National Monument

Located 18.5 miles from Tulelake, California (CA)

4 Stars
4,501 Steps 1  (2.1 mi)

The Big Nasty trailhead is located near the Mammoth Crater viewpoint. The trail starts along the crater rim and crosses a rough lava field covered with brush. There are views of the many cinder cone volcanoes and surrounding lava fields from this trail.

Big Nasty TrailBig Nasty Trail HikeLava Flow at Big Nasty Trail


The Big Nasty Trail has a maximum elevation of 5,421 ft (1,652 m), a minimum elevation of 5,178 ft (1,578 m), and an elevation gain of 5,375 ft (1,638 m) in the [ A to B ] direction.


The following chart shows the total calories that you may expend on the Big Nasty Trail while hiking in the [ A to B ] and [ B to A ] direction at a typical speed and is based on gross weight (which includes anything carried), the topography, trail length and trail conditions.


[ A to B ] or [ B to A ]
Steps 1Length 2Min Ele 3Max Ele 4
4,5012.1 mi5,178 ft5,421 ft
[ A to B ]
Time 5Floors 6Gain 7Loss 8
55 min0.45,375 ft5,434 ft
[ B to A ]
53 min0.35,434 ft5,375 ft

What is the length of the Big Nasty Trail?

The length of the Big Nasty Trail is 2.1 mi (3.3 km) or 4,501 steps.

How long does it take to hike the Big Nasty Trail?

A person in good physical health can hike the Big Nasty Trail in 55 min in the [ A to B ] direction, and in 53 min in the [ B to A ] direction.

Big Nasty Trail Topo Maps

Download free Big Nasty Trail topo maps 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. Do you want full-sheet outdoor recreation JPEG Topo Maps?

Adjoining 7.5' Quadrangle Legend

  1. Northwest Topo Map: Mount Dome, CA
  2. North Topo Map: Captain Jacks Stronghold, CA
  3. Northeast Topo Map: The Panhandle, CA
  4. West Topo Map: Bonita Butte, CA
  5. Topo Map: Schonchin Butte, CA
  6. East Topo Map: Caldwell Butte, CA
  7. Southwest Topo Map: Little Glass Mountain, CA
  8. South Topo Map: Medicine Lake, CA
  9. Southeast Topo Map: West of Kephart, CA

Is there a Big Nasty Trail map?

Yes, and it's free! The Big Nasty Trail is located on the Schonchin Butte topo map. Use the adjoining quadrangle legend to download the map.

Local Weather Forecast

Check the weather forecast; this weather forecast covers the Big Nasty Trail in Lava Beds National Monument, provided by the National Weather Service. (

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  1. Steps is a unit of distance equal to the sum of stride lengths that vary with the terrain.
  2. Length is the distance of the trail between the two trailheads, measured on the trail.
  3. Min Ele is the minimum elevation on the trail.
  4. Max Ele is the maximum elevation on the trail.
  5. Time is the typical total time required to hike the trail.
  6. Floors is the sum of distance on the trail where angles to the horizontal is between 30 and 50 degrees (the angle of a stairway) divided by ten, the height of one floor.
  7. Gain (cumulative elevation gain) is the sum of every gain in elevation.
  8. Loss (cumulative elevation loss) is the sum of every loss in elevation.

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