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“Conquer Your Fears at Mt. Lassen National Volcanic Park”
Review of Mount Lassen

Mount Lassen
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: This mountain is a beautifully rewarding hike for the novice.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

In August 2011, I did two things that I never thought I would do, two things that were so scary I wondered if I would survive them. It all started on a long-planned, five-day camping and hiking vacation in Mt. Lassen Volcanic National Park in north-eastern California. WOW! This place was so different from the usual camping and hiking trips we take along the California coast or Sacramento valley. The park extends from about 6,000 to 10,000 feet in altitude. Everything was still green in August and there were fields of wildflowers among the green trees and verdant mountains. But there was also a couple of inches of snow on the ground in many places.

After stopping at the Visitor's center for a fabulous sandwich and big chocolate/vanilla soft serve ice cream cone, and 20-minute movie about the remarkable geologic formation of four different types of still-active volcanoes at the park, we began exploring the visitor center grounds on our own.

The coolest thing about Lassen is that the powers at be constructed the main road through most of the interesting natural wonders that people want to see. From you car you can see mud pots (below) belching their acrid and rotten-egg stinky sulfuric odors.

There are also waterfalls, flowerful meadows, trees, trees, and more trees, mountains, streams and rivers and little lakes along the northerly main road up to nearly the northern end of the park, where we camped at Manzanita Lake. But it took us about three hours to get there, mostly because we had to stop at every vista point and take pictures and marvel at the sheer beauty of the place! It only took about 30 minutes to get the campsite totally set up. All foodstuffs and anything with a scent (e.g., toothpaste, lotion) had to be locked up in a bear locker at one end of our campsite.

It was HOT that day, so we stopped by the little camp store and bought more ice cream on our way back to the campsite. After rest that afternoon and dinner, we decided that it would be cool to go back to the far side of the lake and wait for night fall to catch the Milky Way over Mt. Lassen. We caught exquisite pictures as the sun fell. It was pitch black when we returned, thinking bears were watching us as our head lamps and flashlight app on my iPhone pierced the darkness. This was the first scary event of our trip.

We decided to hike up the Cinder Cone Volcano, which is an incredibly steep and harrowing 600 feet up from bottom to top. Start as early in the morning as possible, take lots of water, an energy snack or two, and a walking stick. Further around the base of the Cinder Cone Volcano are brightly-colored cinder beds. Mt. Lassen looms 4,000 feet higher in elevation. The views are phenomenal!

I would also recommend a moderately difficult hike to King's Creek. Bring great walking shoes, a backpack with lots of water and food, a jacket in case it gets cool, plenty of sunscreen. And a camera to capture incredible views of wild flowers, numerous waterfalls, and a panorama of mountain ranges.

I conquered my fears at Mt. Lassen and am ready to go back for more adventures!

3  Thank KanikaAfricanArt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 12, 2012

I didn't know what to expect at this park and was pleased with what was there. I always like to stop at the visitor's center and catch the film on the area. I enjoyed the drive and view from 8000', seeing volcanic action of the mudpots and picniking by Lake Helen. While driving to Red Bluff I viewed lava boulders throughout the fields.

1  Thank CaptAllie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2012

The lakes and volcanic views were really good, but if you have been to Yellowstone I do not think it is worth the effort to walk to Bumpass Hell.

1  Thank phil52_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2012

Even just driving the road past Lassen Peak is specktacular. Imagining the eruption and changes it made to the landscape only a hundred years ago is amazing. Even as you drive through Devastated Area, it is hard to think the the huge boulders everywhere came from an eruption that competely leveled the area. I would say even if you can't get out of the car and walk around or take a hike, check out all the different terrains and how much it changes in the different locations. This is a national park that does not get enough attention. This was a great trip.

Thank movaros
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

I came here during August 2012 when major wildfires were going just west of the park. The park was partially open but filled with smoke and hardly had anyone in it. I was still able to see a nice amount of the park. Lassen has the geothermal features of Yellowstone but on a smaller scale and not nearly as dramatic as what you will see there. The rest of the park reminds me of the High Country of Yosemite along Tioga Pass Road. This is a very nice park but once you have been to Yellowstone and Yosemite it is hard to rank Lassen as a 5 though it certainly lacks the crowds of those two parks. There are many lookouts along the main road through the park but it seems unlike some national parks that many of the attractions require a bit of a walk to see.

1  Thank Wxtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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