Last Friday, Mister P., my in-laws, and I headed to Lassen county for his cousin’s wedding. We stayed the weekend in a cute little cabin in Old Station called the Fish Inn. The wedding was beautiful, and a total blast. We danced the night away under the stars. Some of us drank too much.
We headed out on Sunday morning to make the 4 hour trip back to Sacramento. We had planned on visiting Lassen Volcanic National Park on our way out, and our little cabin was a convenient 15 miles from the northern park entrance. I was thrilled to be able to check a National Park visit off of my Mighty List!
Lassen is one of the oldest National Parks in the US (the 15th established), and is located in northeastern California in the Cascade Mountain Range. It’s most prominent feature is Lassen Peak, an active volcano. The peak is 10,462 ft., and is accessible by a 2.5 mile walking trail. One of the great things about the park is the semi-guided 30 mile driving tour. We did it backwards cuz that’s how we roll!
Our first stop was the Visitor’s Center and Loomis Museum. The museum was small, but had some really fascinating photos of Lassen’s most recent eruption (1914-1915), taken by B.F. Loomis.
The drive through the park is scenic and winding. We stopped to take photos along the way. The weather was mild, the wildflowers were in full bloom, and all of the attractions were open. The only drawback was a small fire started by a lightning strike that made the skies a bit hazy.
Lassen Peak from King’s Creek Meadow.
The photo on the left was taken at the highest point on the park road at 8,512 feet. You can see some hikers in the bottom left, prepping to scale the peak. On the right is Hat Creek.
The park has several lakes. But this one, Lake Helen, was the most stunning shade of blue! She took my breath away.
I just love the color and texture of lichen and moss, don’t you?
Me and Mister P. at Bumpass Hell Overlook. Yes, that’s really what it’s called!
King’s Creek Meadow is on the left (shown from the road below in 4th photo). At right is the Sulfur works, one of the most popular attractions in the park.
The Sulfur Works are an area with hydrothermal features, such as boiling mud pots and steam vents, that are heated deep beneath Lassen Peak. These features are indicative of the potential for another eruption. The bright colors are the result of minerals and chemical reactions.
We’re already thinking about taking a camping trip this summer so that we can spend more time hiking and exploring. If you ever get the chance to visit, I’d definitely recommend it!