13 July, 2009

Lassen Volcanic National Park

We just got back from a 3 day trip to Lassen NP

Burney Falls S.P. en route

If you can wade through the crowds, this waterfall was a beauty!

Cinder Cone

A height of 700 feet and less than 400 years of age,
this volcanic wonder leaves a lasting impression.

The cone was impossibly steep & loose.

The view: Snag Lake, Fantastic Lava Beds, & Painted Dunes from Cinder Cone

Sunday we spent 8.5 hours hiking from our camp at Butte Lake around Snag Lake and back via the cinder cone. The surrounding 30 sq miles are covered in gray volcanic ash. This, combined with the high altitude, made the 11 mile hike more difficult than a regular 22 mile hike.

Although we did hike through some old growth forest & aspen groves, mosquitoes prevented photography.

Taking a break w/snags at Snag Lake.

Even with 1.5 hours of breaks, we were relieved at the end of the day to soak our beaten legs in the cold lake.

Cinder Cone & Fantastic Lava Beds article: Wikipedia
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Monday we drove over the summit of Mount Lassen.

Scenery like this gave me a new respect for Lassen!

Giddy with anxiousness, we followed our noses 1.5 miles to Bumpass Hell

Sulphuric steam rises at 200 F. Nearby rock turns into boiling mud,

The vents create magical turquoise ponds.
This jewel featured blooming "Mountain Heather"

We saw a bald eagle, a single deer, and bear cub near Snag Lake.
Close to home I spotted another black bear & cub on HWY 299.

This park was truly unique & beautiful beyond my expectations.