Lassen Volcanic NP - California

September 8-11, 2017

  I had never heard of this place until this summer, two friends of ours happened to mention that it was one of their favorite parks to visit and a bit of a hidden gem. Boy were they right - thanks Dan and Adriane! Lassen is located in Northern California, and is the only place where all four types of volcanoes found in the entire world are represented - pretty cool! In case you were wondering the volcano types are: Shield, Plug Dome, Cinder Cone and Composite. As always, when we arrived, we made our bucket list and planned some pretty strenuous hikes. One of the reasons this park is probably not as popular as some others is because most of the “attractions” are only accessible by hiking, which doesn’t suit everyone of course. Cinder Cone was high on our list but from the campground it would have been around an 18 mile hike..no thank you! We drove to a different park entrance and the hike was only a few miles. Once we reached the bottom of the volcano it was about ¾ mile to the top, not too bad, right?! Wrong! My legs have never felt so depleted from taking one step forward and sliding through the volcanic ash half a step back - it's a bit like walking on sand dunes! It was totally worth it at the top, not only were the views amazing but you could also hike down into the volcano! We had some fun walking around the top and making the descend into the volcano. I challenged David to run back to the top but he wasn’t playing so he got to carry my backpack while I did a little HIIT session!

I had never heard of this place until this summer, two friends of ours happened to mention that it was one of their favorite parks to visit and a bit of a hidden gem. Boy were they right - thanks Dan and Adriane! Lassen is located in Northern California, and is the only place where all four types of volcanoes found in the entire world are represented - pretty cool! In case you were wondering the volcano types are: Shield, Plug Dome, Cinder Cone and Composite. As always, when we arrived, we made our bucket list and planned some pretty strenuous hikes. One of the reasons this park is probably not as popular as some others is because most of the “attractions” are only accessible by hiking, which doesn’t suit everyone of course. Cinder Cone was high on our list but from the campground it would have been around an 18 mile hike..no thank you! We drove to a different park entrance and the hike was only a few miles. Once we reached the bottom of the volcano it was about ¾ mile to the top, not too bad, right?! Wrong! My legs have never felt so depleted from taking one step forward and sliding through the volcanic ash half a step back - it's a bit like walking on sand dunes! It was totally worth it at the top, not only were the views amazing but you could also hike down into the volcano! We had some fun walking around the top and making the descend into the volcano. I challenged David to run back to the top but he wasn’t playing so he got to carry my backpack while I did a little HIIT session!

CINDER CONE

Lassen Peak

  The next day we decided to tackle the plug dome volcano, also known as Lassen Peak - it’s about 5 miles round trip and 2,000 ft in elevation with the top being 10,463 ft. These elevations are kicking my butt! It was a tough hike, with lots of snow on the mountain but again, totally worth it at the top. As we started climbing we suddenly had phone service so I thought a quick phone call to my mum and dad was in order. Yes, I was that person breaking the rules of nature on my phone but it was cool to be able to tell my dad where I was and what I was doing, his love of the outdoors has influenced our trip immensely - thank you dad for all the hill walks and nature outings growing up!

The next day we decided to tackle the plug dome volcano, also known as Lassen Peak - it’s about 5 miles round trip and 2,000 ft in elevation with the top being 10,463 ft. These elevations are kicking my butt! It was a tough hike, with lots of snow on the mountain but again, totally worth it at the top. As we started climbing we suddenly had phone service so I thought a quick phone call to my mum and dad was in order. Yes, I was that person breaking the rules of nature on my phone but it was cool to be able to tell my dad where I was and what I was doing, his love of the outdoors has influenced our trip immensely - thank you dad for all the hill walks and nature outings growing up!

Bumpass Hell

  Once we had exhausted ourselves climbing Lassen Peak, we went to check out Bumpass Hell, which is an area of hydrothermal sites and acres of bubbling mud pots, very similar to parts of Yosemite. The park is full of many trails (all ranging in difficulty) and lakes, it's quiet and beautiful especially this time of year. Parts of the northern trails also link up to the Pacific Crest Trail.     Next stop Brice Station Vineyard and San Francisco!

Once we had exhausted ourselves climbing Lassen Peak, we went to check out Bumpass Hell, which is an area of hydrothermal sites and acres of bubbling mud pots, very similar to parts of Yosemite. The park is full of many trails (all ranging in difficulty) and lakes, it's quiet and beautiful especially this time of year. Parts of the northern trails also link up to the Pacific Crest Trail.

Next stop Brice Station Vineyard and San Francisco!