A Trip to Lassen

This past Saturday, we took a trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park. We had wanted to get away for a while and this was a good excuse.

Our original intent had been to got to Yosemite, but continuing reports of visitors becoming infected with hantavirus got us to choose a different park.

Our first stop was the visitors center where we added to our collection of refrigerator magnets from national parks. We also obligated ourselves to send a few postcards to relatives, once we manage to get them written.

The main event of the day was a hike to Bumpass Hell (pictured above) a 3.5 mile round trip with a moderate amount of elevation change that leads to a thermal area.

This picture of Beth is from the at near the trail head with Brokoff mountian in the background. We had a few rough spots getting down the dusty and slick last half mile with Beth sliding and landing hard on her bum and arm. Fortunatly nothing got broken and we wer able to make it into the thurmal basin.

As someone who has spent I a lot of time in and around the features in Yellowston Park, this was a slightly underwelming. There are no geysers because the rock it too brittle, but the rushing steam, boiling pools and sloshing mud pots were still cool to look at. "

In fact many of the sights, sounds, and smells made me remember how long it has been since we have been to Yellowstone. who would think that the smell of sulfur would have have such pleasant memories. This picture show one of the boardwalks in Bumpass Hell very reminiscent of those in Yellowstone Park.

Rather then eat in the basin, we walked just a little further up the trail and found a shady spot under some accomidating pine trees to have lunch. There is just something very fulfilling about eating a ham and cheese sandwitch in someplace beautiful.

We were of course joined by some of the natives hoping for a handout.

We then hiked back out, taking lots of pictures along the way. Before leaving the park we drove a little further, past Mount Lassen itself, and stopped to tour The Desolation Area. This is the area that was buried during the eruptions of May 1915. The short loop trail has several interperitive pannels describing the geology and aftermath of the eruption. This trail is ADA complient, and each pannel has a solar powered speaker that reads the text of the and describs the scene for the visually impaired (and other tired hikers).

As evening was approching, we headed out the north end of the park and followed little used country roads back to Red Bluff where we ate dinner before driving home.

Click on the slideshow below for a larger view: