Lassen Volcanic National Park Journals

Lassen Volcanic Delights

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A July 2006 trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park by btwood2

Lassen Volcanic National Park Photo, Redding, California More Photos
Quote: Lassen Peak is the snowy centerpiece of this gem of national parks, also containing steaming, bubbling, hissing geothermal areas, and a cold boiling lake.

Lassen Volcanic Delights

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Overview

Lassen Volcanic National Park Photo, Redding, California
Quote:
Is Lassen Peak an active volcano?. You’ll get different answers depending on whom you ask and where you look. Though the definition of "active volcano" is surprisingly vague, most volcanologists agree that a volcano is active if it has erupted "in recorded historic time". Prior to Mount St. Helen’s 1980 eruptions, Lassen Peak, the southernmost Cascade Range volcanic mountain, was the most recently eruptive volcano in the continental U.S. In May 1914, Lassen began venting steam and ashes from its peak. The next 12 months saw over 150 more eruptions, some emitting steam/ash clouds almost 2 miles high. The Great Explosion: By May 1915, lava began overflowing Lassen’s summit crater...Read More

Crags Campground

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Hotel

Crags Campground Photo, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California
Quote:
Best things about campground: Quiet, small (45 sites), forested but with central open area. Five miles east of Visitor Center, Loomis Museum, Manzanita Lake, camp store, superb hiking trails. Beyond the park, Lassen National Forest. Small is good. This smaller of several roadside Park Service campgrounds was our choice after speaking with park service staff when planning our trip. Arriving on a Friday afternoon in mid-July, we were pleasantly surprised to find many spaces still available. Including the perfect spot for us, always picky with our big 38-foot long motor home, topped with solar panels and satellite. We require open sky with southern exposure and sun. Our pull-thro...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 5, 2006

Crags Campground
Highway 89 (park Road), 5 Miles From Nw Entrance
Lassen Volcanic National Park

Hiking up Mt. Lassen

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Attraction | "Hiking Lassen Peak"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Distance: 5 miles round trip Elevation gain: 1957 feet Checking status reports of Lassen trails online before our arrival, I was delighted to learn Lassen Peak trail had just been opened, with snow on the first half mile of 2.5. I was further encouraged in Lassen Park, speaking with our campground neighbors, who’d made it to the top earlier that day with their 7-year-old son. Bob wasn’t ready for such a steep climb at such high altitudes: 8,500 feet trailhead to 10,457 summit. He’d had two more stents placed in his right coronary artery less than two weeks before. Park handouts warn not to hike up the peak when thunderstorms threaten, not uncommon summer afternoons. We’d had one ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 6, 2006

Hiking up Mt. Lassen
Main Road in Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

Lassen Volcanic National Park

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Attraction | "Chaos Crags, Chaos Crater and Crags Lake "

Lassen Volcanic National Park Photo, Redding, California
Quote:
Length: 3.8 miles round trip Elevation gain: 700 feet Trailhead: southeast of Visitor Center, on access road to Manzanita Campground "What great sounding names" I thought, combining alliteration with affinity for chaos theory. Each time we drove between Crags Campground and the Visitor Center, we glimpsed this cluster of dramatic dacite domes through forest cover, enticing me to get closer and see more. Bob joined me on this hike, taken our last day at Lassen. The first half climbs steadily through fir/pine forest, with lower limbs of evergreens sporting thick moss growth. Eventually we emerge into a more open landscape, as forest thins and greenleaf manzanita ground cover p...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 6, 2006

Lassen Volcanic National Park
21750 Highway 89
Mineral, California 96063
(530) 595-4480

Manzanita Lake

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Attraction

Manzanita Lake Photo, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California
Quote:
Length: 1.6 mile Elevation gain: negligible Trailhead: can be accessed at multiple points around Manzanita Lake, including from the Visitor Center and from Manzanita Campground. Bicycles and pets prohibited on trail. Manzanita Lake was born only 300+ years ago, when the northeast dome of Chaos Crags collapsed in a cold air-cushioned incredibly fast (100 miles an hour) rock avalanche. The rockfall dammed Manzanita Creek, creating Manzanita Lake. We began our walk behind Loomis Museum/Visitor Center, crossing over a bridge and then turned right along Manzanita Creek, then left (clockwise) as we reached the lake. On this portion of the trail, it’s a bit confusing due to pi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 6, 2006

Manzanita Lake
Near Loomis Museum
Lassen Volcanic National Park 96088

Lassen Volcanic National Park

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Attraction | "Lily Pond Nature Trail"

Lassen Volcanic National Park Photo, Redding, California
Quote:
Length: 1.0 mile Elevation gain: negligible Trailhead: across Highway 89 from Loomis Museum/Visitor Center. This easy but fascinating loop is a wonderful introduction to some of Lassen’s flora and geology. We first thought it would simply take us around Reflection Pond, but about halfway around the pond, the trail veered deeper into the forest and then led into the fringes of Chaos Jumbles. The nature trail guide can be purchased at the Visitor Center for 50 cents, or picked up at the trailhead. Almost immediately we spied snow plants, those spectacular waxy-looking flowers resembling bright red asparagus spears. They’re saprophytes, meaning they don’t photosynthesize,...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 6, 2006

Lassen Volcanic National Park
21750 Highway 89
Mineral, California 96063
(530) 595-4480

Lassen Volcanic National Park

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Attraction | "Sulphur Works"

Lassen Volcanic National Park Photo, Redding, California
Quote:
Due to late Spring snows, Bumpass Hell, Lassen’s most extensive geothermal area, was still closed during our visit in mid-July, the trail not scheduled to open for another couple of weeks. A man I met hiking, who’d been to Bumpass years ago, encouraged me to ignore closed trail signs, risk fines, and walk through snow to get there. "It’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before; you can’t miss it!" Not that I’m such a goody-two-shoes, but Sulphur Works geothermal area, thought to be part of the central vent system of ancestral Mount Tehama, was easily accessible, just off park road Highway 89. Bob could smell the odor of hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell) even before we arrived. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 6, 2006

Lassen Volcanic National Park
21750 Highway 89
Mineral, California 96063
(530) 595-4480

Lassen Volcanic National Park

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Attraction | "Subway Cave"

Lassen Volcanic National Park Photo, Redding, California
Quote:
A Lassen park ranger suggested we visit Subway Cave, past Old Station. Named for its resemblance to a subway "tube", this fascinating structure was formed from a molten lava stream that congealed on its outer margins (roof, walls, floor) but kept flowing in its core. As source of lava subsides, still molten-lava inside the tube continues to drain downhill, eventually leaving an open lava tube cave. Subway Cave is a prime example. Subway’s lava came from the Hat Creek flow, originating from a series of large fissures in the earth, about 20,000 years ago. With time, a part of the cave’s roof collapsed, allo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 6, 2006

Lassen Volcanic National Park
21750 Highway 89
Mineral, California 96063
(530) 595-4480

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
If you only have one day at Lassen, take the 35-mile scenic drive through the park on Highway 89. Frequent stops and short walks on interpretive trails will give you a taste of this park, but will have you longing for a more extended stay. We were lucky to be at Lassen for a week, and took the better part of one day to explore Highway 89 within Lassen from north to south, but the drive can be taken either way. A mile beyond the northwest entrance station, stop at Loomis Museum/Visitor Center to view the historic buildings, displays, and film about the park. The Road Guide to Lassen Volcanic National Park mentioned in the park brochure was not available during our visit, as it is c...Read More

About the Writer

btwood2

btwood2
Rodeo, New Mexico

Lassen Volcanic National Park Tips & Stories

Scenic Drive through Lassen National Park
Back Pack Lassen