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Flaming Geyser State Park

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Don't get your hopes up: there's no geyser here, and just a flicker of a flame. The park's geyser is a flame that burns the remnants of a methane-gas pocket, located nearly 1000 feet below the surface. The gas was discovered by early-1900s coal miners, who drilled a test hole and struck gas and salt water all at once. Next thing they knew, they had giant gushes of water and flames 25 feet high blasting from their test hole, which made for excellent dinner conversation, if not coal profits. Today, that "geyser" is a flame several inches tall in a rock-rimmed basin. Despite the misnomer, however, Flaming Geyser State Park sports some impressive features, including miles of trail through wonderful forest and along a gorgeous river. And it's accessible all year.

A variety of trails are available--more than 10 miles of hiking is possible by linking the numerous paths--but the best bet for a quiet afternoon is the Perimeter Loop. From the parking lot near the picnic area, find the path along the riverbank and follow it to a side stream, Cristy Creek. Turn right to head up the path alongside the creek. This trail takes you past the flaming gas leak and into a moss-laden forest of hemlock and big-leaf maple.

Winding up through the forest, you'll pass another "geyser," this one the Bubbling Geyser--a small mud hole that bubbles, thanks to natural releases from that same underground gas pocket. Follow the trail uphill, sometimes on wooden stairs, to cross the creek and loop around the slope above the Green River valley.

The trail continues across the slope, then drops down into the tall-grass fields near the entrance to the park. Here, the trail is a simple mowed swath through the chest-high grasses. Follow the path upstream to reach your car.
Driving Directions:

From Auburn head east on State Route 18. Just before crossing the Green River, take the
Auburn-Black Diamond Road exit. At the bottom of the ramp go right and, almost immediately, go right again onto SE Green Valley Road. Drive 7 miles, and turn right to cross the Green River and enter Flaming Geyser State Park. At the first junction turn right to drive up the river to the large picnic area.

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

Recent Trip Reports

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There are 13 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Flaming Geyser State Park — Jul 06, 2013 — MmeMazama
Day hike
Issues: Bridge out | Bugs
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As others before me have mentioned, the bridge upstream from Flaming Geyser is out, so to reach Bubb...
As others before me have mentioned, the bridge upstream from Flaming Geyser is out, so to reach Bubbling Geyser you have to "ford" the creek. There is a small, easy-to-miss sign that directs hikers to the trail.
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Flaming Geyser State Park — Apr 06, 2013 — Mary
Day hike
Issues: Bridge out | Mudholes | Water on trail
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Today was an off and on rainy day. There was light rain as we got to the park. We parked near the ...
Today was an off and on rainy day. There was light rain as we got to the park. We parked near the ranger station and playground area and followed the salmon information trail along the river up to the flaming geyser. The river was about 3 feet higher than normal for this time of year. Unfortunately the geyser was not flaming. It was more like a very sad water fountain. The high water level of the river likely contributed to this lack of fire.

From here we went to the creek and crossed over, from reading prior reports there must have been a bridge at one point. Right now it is a mishmash of logs and rocks that make for an interesting crossing. To the right we took the trail up to the Bubbling geyser. This geyser goes right into the creek with an overwhelming sulfur scent. Really after just a few minutes it was nauseating. A slippery walk back down that trail convinced us to go back to the car for our walking sticks before getting much farther.

After getting back on the trail we continued on along a path that follows the river for about 1 mile before coming to an end at the riverbank. There were a lot of little trails that broke off to go down to the river at different points. The trees were beautiful and with all the moss it felt a lot like rain forest. The trail was very very muddy and there were a lot of puddles and one very large mud pit to traverse but we managed not to fall down or submerge our feet in any deep puddles. Overall it was a nice pretty rainy day and we came back to the car soaking wet.

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Flaming Geyser State Park — Jan 04, 2013 — littleburro
Day hike
Issues: Bridge out | Clogged drainage | Washouts
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Flaming Geyser State Park is easily accessible and impressively named, hence the choice to sneak out...
Flaming Geyser State Park is easily accessible and impressively named, hence the choice to sneak out there on a Friday afternoon as the sun managed to hold on to the day longer than expected.

The original plan was to take the river trail after checking out the infamously disappointing flaming geyser. Good news, the flaming geyser was alive and well. Hot, firey and a whole 4 or 6 inches I'd bet you!

Bad news, the river trail westward was either flooded or the crossing was out? It was pretty hard to distinguish which. So, thanks to the two flexible trail partners (one with two legs, one with four legs) who weren't really up for fjording the stream, we decided to take another unnamed trail off the corner of the lodge and ranger area. Turns out that's the aptly named 'Ridge Trail.' It was a great little trek with some good hills to keep you engaged and the heart pumping.

 
 
Was nice, really felt like we had the whole area to ourselves and could enjoy the fog that hadn't lifted and the sun's last appearance for awhile. Not really much of a distance hike but was good to get out in the nice chilly weather. We finished out the day with a quick stroll along the river edge, and even caught a glimpse of a kingfisher. Hopefully I'll be able to make a return trek there to check out more of the trails, maybe even find the elusive Bubbling Geyser or Green River Gorge. Just a nice convenient place to explore especially for those in the South Puget Sound.
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Flaming Geyser State Park — Nov 30, 2012 — Medusa La Stone
Day hike
Issues: Bridge out
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Another rainy day hike, but I was kindly rewarded with blue skies and no rain! ^_^ Flaming Geyser...
Another rainy day hike, but I was kindly rewarded with blue skies and no rain! ^_^

Flaming Geyser State Park hosts large family picnics and summer swimming. In November, the sparse vehicles dotting the parking lot were mostly anglers fishing the steely-green river. I spotted a half dozen salmon migrating up Christy Creek, but most of them are toward the end of their lifecycle.

Flaming Geyser was active with a 2 inch flame. A few people had made cairns around it which I found amusing.

The bridge to the river trails and bubbling geyser is still closed. The bubbling geyser trail is CLOSED on both sides. I was able to cross Christy Creek using a slick fallen tree and a walking stick, but this method is for the die hard explorer or fishermen wanting to see what’s on the other side...
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Flaming Geyser State Park — Jun 03, 2012 — Mkmason
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
Issues: Blowdowns | Bridge out
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Beautiful day for a hike; lots of people at the park using the river. I couldn't access the bubbling...
Beautiful day for a hike; lots of people at the park using the river. I couldn't access the bubbling geyser via the route mentioned, because the bridge is out. It's blocked off and vet grown. I couldn't find my way around it safely, so I walked to what I thought was the opposit end of the trail through the tall grasses, but it never connected. It ended right next to te parking area.

I ended up just leaving after an hour or do after hiking all the available nearby trails--I say avoid making a special trip for this trail till the bridge is fixed.
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Flaming Geyser by Andrew Engelson.jpg
Flaming Geyser State Park by Andrew Engelson
Location
South Cascades -- Chinook Pass - Enumclaw or Hwy 410 area
Washington State Parks
Statistics
Roundtrip 3.0 miles
Elevation Gain 100 ft
Highest Point 425 ft
Features
Rivers
Wildlife
User info
Good for kids
Discover Pass required
Guidebooks & Maps
Snoqualmie Pass
Green Trails Enumclaw No. 237

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

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