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
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