Kendall Vanhook Bumpass

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"Boys, I have been in hell." – Kendall Bumpass[1]

Our guide [Mr. K.V. Bumpass,] after cautioning us to be careful where we stepped... broke through the crust and plunged his leg into the boiling mud beneath, which clinging to his limb burned him severely. If our guide had been a profane man I think he would have cursed a little; as it was, I think his silence was owing to his inability to do the subject justice...

Kendall VanHook Bumpass (November 6, 1809 – 1885) was a cowboy and early settler, who, in 1865, broke through the surface of a scalding hot mudpot in an active geothermal area and consequently lost a leg by amputation. [3] The geothermal area was later named "Bumpass Hell", and is today located in Lassen Volcanic National Park in California.


  1. ^ "How this Man's 'Hell' Became One of Northern California's Most Popular Destinations". Active NorCal. December 29, 2019. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  2. ^ Bumpass's Hell (Trail plaque). Lassen Volcanic National Park: National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved June 29, 2021.
  3. ^ Entry for "Bumpass, Kendall VanHook" at Accessed 2018-08-26