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