We also decided to do the easier of the two hikes on the first day. Bumpass Hell is a 3 mile hike, roundtrip. Easy for us, or so we thought, since we hike a 4 mile trail 2-3 times a week... usually in an hour. We were wrong as we ended up pretty winded from the elevation. But what you get to see at the end is worth the oxygen deprivation.
Bumpass Hell is a geothermic area that has fumaroles, boiling mud pots, and hot springs. The season and water levels will determine what there is more of as each phenomenon can evolve. A mud pot with more water can become a hot spring, but less water will turn it into a fumarole.
I was glad to see Bumpass Hell again. And Connor hadn't ever seen anything like it. There aren't too many places on earth were you can get pretty close to geothermic activity in a relatively safe manner.
As we hiked back, we were surprised to find that we were already starting to acclimate to the altitude. The walk back seemed easier. This boded well for the next day's challenge: Lassen Peak.
The further point is the actual peak. It looks shorter. It isn't.