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Enormous freshwater springs from underground lava tubes make this territory very distinctive from other California state parks. The springs produce an incredible volume of pure water that creates a interconnecting maze of clear, slow-moving waterways. Numerous springs discharge into the valley from the northern plateau which sustains the lakes and streams that merge in and around the park.

“Geologists believe the source of the springs is the Tule Lake and Klamath Lake basins, located approximately fifty miles north. The water then migrates underground through the porous basalt lava, resurfacing in the valley. The waters are Big Lake, Tule River, Ja-She Creek, Lava Creek, and Fall River. Together they form one of the largest systems of fresh water springs in the country.” The freshwater springs flowing from the lava are prominent along the shoreline.

 “Geologists believe the source of the springs is the Tule Lake and Klamath Lake basins, located approximately fifty miles north. The water then migrates underground through the porous basalt lava, resurfacing in the valley. The waters are Big Lake, Tule River, Ja-She Creek, Lava Creek, and Fall River. Together they form one of the largest systems of fresh water springs in the country.” The freshwater springs flowing from the lava are prominent along the shoreline.

Kayaking is only part of the experience. The park also offers wildlife viewing, photography, picnics, boat-in camping and hiking. If you paddle from Rat Farm boat launch over to the campground at Horr Pond, you'll end up in the middle of the park's trail system. There are over twenty miles of hiking trails by which to explore this beautiful paddling paradise. Hiking trails lead past basalt outcroppings with cold springs bubbling up at the edge of lava fields. Lava Springs Trail runs along the lakeshore path. Hike west from the Horr Pond Camp to Crystal Springs Camp or head east on an even more remote length of shoreline trail. Spatter Cone Loop Trail tours the park's lava flows.

 

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