Though the main road that traverses the park is gorgeous, take the time to drive up to the northeast corner of the park to see the Cinder Cone and Lava Beds. It’s a bit of a drive, and the last five miles or so are all dirt road, but it’s definitely worth it! The trail to the Cinder Cone is very mild… until you get to the cone itself. It’s about 800 feet up a path that’s etched along the side of the cone. Though it’s 800 feet of elevation gain, it’s more accurate to say 1,200. I say this because for every step you take vertically, you slide back six inches due to the terrain. The trail up to the top of the cone IS the cone itself… small lava rocks. Even though this ascend can be tiring, DON’T GIVE UP! It is well worth the effort. Once you’re at the top of Cinder Cone, you can see in all directions for miles. You can see Lassen Peak, as well as other snow capped peaks, mountain lakes, and colorful lava beds and smaller lava cones below, plus the crater of the cone itself. There’s a short trail leading to the center of the cone. Don’t let this section of the park escape you!
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