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Day 6...California road trip...Lassen VNP & Burney Falls

Houston, tx
posts: 269
reviews: 24
Day 6...California road trip...Lassen VNP & Burney Falls

Saturday 9/15/12

Thankfully, there was no smoke...and no road closures on Hwy 89. It's one of those things--wildfires, road closures, bad weather,accidents...you just pray doesn't interfere with your vacation...8 am start from Mt. Shasta...and Day 6 was on.

McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park....had never even heard of this place before doing research on Trip Advisor....that's what makes this site so good...the local experts and forums. The falls were excellent...it's a beautiful, short stop, easy to get to, maybe a 100-yard walk from the road...great photo op...1 hr from Mt. Shasta, spent a wonderful hour there. Assume that, unlike Yosemite, Burney Falls run strong year-round...

Entered Lassen Volcanic National Park from the north 44/89...not much of note in the northern area of the park...did stop at the Devastated Area...this park sure does have some elevation to it....things really get interesting when you approach Lassen Peak, where the road climbs to 8512 ft. The trail to the summit was closed, one could only go part way...that would be a great hike when open...hike up to the 10, 457 peak , only 2000 ft, great bang for the buck.

Bumpass Hell was going to be my challenge today...was apprehensive...still nursing the sore right foot from Hwy 1 driving 3 days prior. The trail to the thermal hot spots was approx. 1 mile-1 way...pretty easy...it's like a mini-Yellowstone....bubbling mud pots,

steaming fumaroles and boiling water along a boardwalk once you reach Bumpass Hell...very scenic....and of course, the rotten-egg sulphur smell...which cannot be captured on film. Survived the hike ok...made a brief stop at Sulphur Works and the Kohm Yah-mah-nee visitor center. Would mention that the 2 best things were Bumpass Hell and Lassen Peak. both in the southern portion of the park.

It was now close to 3pm....asked the Ranger how long it would take to drive to S. Lake Tahoe....he said '4 hours'....that was shocking news...didn't think it was that far....would be fortunate just to get there by sunset....and forget about any cruise on the Lake, which had been in the plans. Did not investigate this leg of the trip adequately. Ranger said there were 2 ways to go...via 89...where he used the magic word "windy"...that brought to mind Hwy1....windy....that is winedee....not windy as in the windy city...had had enough of winedee roads for awhile....the other option was Hwy 36 to 395...that's the one for me....it was so relaxing....wide open spaces...some nice scenery around Lake Almanor....a wonderful choice....rolled in to overnight in Carson City at 7pm sunset....no cruise on Lake Tahoe....but no matter, had visited Lake Tahoe 10 years ago....and there's no doubt that the most beautiful lake in the world had been seen on this trip 2 days ago....right?

Day 6....Burney Falls....Lassen Volcanic NP...and a 4 hour drive to Tahoe area...another good day...next up for Day 7....Mammoth Lakes, on the Mammoth Lakes forum

Lassen National...
posts: 2,628
reviews: 11
1. Re: Day 6...California road trip...Lassen VNP & Burney Falls

I'm so glad there wasn't any smoke. Did you time how long it took you to get to Tahoe? It takes us 2:40 to get to NorthStar & it is 7 miles from the lake & 30 mins from Lassen Park...so 3.5 hours from Lassen. No mention of Lake Helen. I haven't been up there since the fire. Is the water still azure?

Hope you have a great drive to Mammoth. Fall is the best time of year!

Houston, tx
posts: 269
reviews: 24
2. Re: Day 6...California road trip...Lassen VNP & Burney Falls

yes...it took from 3pm to sunset...which was around 7pm...to get from Lassen to Carson City,,,,so approx. 4 hours for the "non-windy" route.

Did not know anything about Lake Helen....but looked back at my pics...and did have one of a very pretty blue lake fronting Lassen Peak....it was indeed Lake Helen. Did not stop there....but sure was beautiful....if only had more time!

Lake Forest...
posts: 2
reviews: 30
3. Re: Day 6...California road trip...Lassen VNP & Burney Falls

Thank you for the info. I'm heading there soon and gave me an idea what to look forward to seeing. I was there a couple of years ago in the Spring but it was snowed in.

Santa Cruz...
Destination Expert
for Santa Cruz
posts: 26,185
reviews: 6
4. Re: Day 6...California road trip...Lassen VNP & Burney Falls

I am giggling. Thank you for "winedee'. Every time I try to describe a twisty coastal or mountainous road I start out with "windy" and realize that is not what I meant.

From now on, if you don't mind my copying you, I will use "winedee". :~)

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Death Valley Junction, Death Valley National Park
posts: 10,866
reviews: 42
5. Re: Day 6...California road trip...Lassen VNP & Burney Falls

Thanks for the report, jwr. Lassen is one of my favorite spots, and I'd like to go more often except the season is so short (unless I invest in some snow shoes or x-c skis). Bumpass Hell is so intriguing that it's easy to forget that the park has a big variety of other natural features to see.

I also stumble on "windy" when writing about roads. I try to say "curvy" or "twisty," or sometimes "snaky," unless I actually mean that a sudden gust could blow you over a cliff. :)

Lassen National...
posts: 2,628
reviews: 11
6. Re: Day 6...California road trip...Lassen VNP & Burney Falls

Frisco, the park has snowshoes for rent for a small fee (like $4.00, I think). You should check it out in the winter sometime. It is amazing---the SW entrance especially.

7. Re: Day 6...California road trip...Lassen VNP & Burney Falls

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