Lassen Volcanic National Park:

After a wonderful visit and project at Chad and Emily's home, it was time to do some exploring. Just a few miles northeast is Lassen Volcanic National Park. This park of 165 square miles has dozens of dormant volcanoes, boiling springs, mud pots, steam vents, trees and mountains galore and 200 lakes. The entrance road Hwy 89 is on the west side of the park. Unlike many national parks, this is not a "drive-to" park, it is a "hike-to" park. The portion of Hwy 89 that goes through the park is only 38 miles which you can drive in 90 minutes. But to see the best features of the park you have to hike.

From Chico you can take Hwy 32, a twisty 53 mile road that leads you from the plains to the mountains. Mandy guides our way to Lassen Park.

Once you enter the treed mountains on Hwy 32 you are surrounded by them for the rest of your journey.

Park elevations range from 5,650 to 10,457 feet.

The slow-go road is a pleasant drive and there are big rig size pull-outs to stop and get photos.

With hundreds of tree, shrub and flower species, you get some great combinations for your photos.

Lassen Peak is the largest plug-dome volcanic in the world. While dormant, it does rumble at times. The last eruptions were in 1914 and 1915 and the cause of designating Lassen as a national park.

Of the 200 lakes only a handful can be seen from the road. Emerald Lake lives up to its name.

1) Just a short distance past Emerald is Helen Lake with its gorgeous blue hue. 2) The speed limit is low but that does not keep this road from being a favorite for the two-wheeler crowd.

We had to travel halfway through the park to reach the first campgrounds at Summit Lake. We found this huge site at Summit Lake North where Mandy got out her chair to enjoy her time with Mom.

This was our view of Summit Lake from the MotherShip's front picture window as we gaze upon the picnic area.

The are 150 miles of hiking trails. We choose the 2.3 mile hike to Echo Lake. The hike was of moderate difficulty, but tough for us as we have been Coach Potatoes for many, many months.

Much of the trail is surrounded by Manzanita ground cover.

Four of the millions of tall trees along this hike.

Like almost or perhaps all lakes in Lassen, Echo Lake was created by God, not man-made.

On the way back to camp this squirrel entertained us by carrying this huge pine cone core back to his camp.

1) While it was our intent to stay several days in Lassen, we only stayed on Sunday night. Why? Absolutely zero cell service and as usual attention to our clients must take first priority. 2) So we head off the the Redding Elks for clean asphalt parking, cable TV, a pool, good meals, city amenities and a visit with Pete's sister Donnalee. Ah, back to being Coach Potatoes!

Where to next? Off to Eureka, Arcata and the Oregon Coast.

Love, Pete, Ellen and Mandy

The Full Time Motorhome Living Guide

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