Missing Link Trail
Lava Beds National Monument

Located 16.1 miles from Tulelake, California (CA)

4 Stars
1,518 Steps 1  (0.7 mi)

The Missing Link Trail is a connector trail located halfway into the Bunchgrass Trail. Before entering the caves within Lava Beds National Monument, a free screening pass for the deadly bat disease White-Nose Syndrome must first be obtained from the Visitor Center or Fee Booth.

Missing Link TrailMissing Link TrailMissing Link Trail


The Missing Link Trail has a maximum elevation of 4,637 ft (1,413 m), a minimum elevation of 4,570 ft (1,393 m), and an elevation gain of 2,006 ft (612 m) in the [ A to B ] direction.


The following chart shows the total calories that you may expend on the Missing Link 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
1,5180.7 mi4,570 ft4,637 ft
[ A to B ]
Time 5Floors 6Gain 7Loss 8
17 min0.02,006 ft1,666 ft
[ B to A ]
16 min0.01,666 ft2,006 ft

What is the length of the Missing Link Trail?

The length of the Missing Link Trail is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) or 1,518 steps.

How long does it take to hike the Missing Link Trail?

A person in good physical health can hike the Missing Link Trail in 17 min in the [ A to B ] direction, and in 16 min in the [ B to A ] direction.

Missing Link Trail Topo Maps

Download free Missing Link 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 Missing Link Trail map?

Yes, and it's free! The Missing Link 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 Missing Link Trail in Lava Beds National Monument, provided by the National Weather Service. (weather.gov)

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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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