Visited: July 2019
Duration: 2 full days
Accommodations: Livings Springs RV and Cabins (reserved on Air BNB) highly recommend.
Lassen Volcanic National Park illustrates Earth’s most powerful forces. All four types of rock that originate from volcanoes can be found here in this park; shield, composite, cinder cone and plug dome. Lassen peak is one of the largest plug dome volcanoes in the world. Boiling mudpots, steaming ground, roaring fumeroles, sulfurous gases, lakes, mountains, volcanoes, great hiking trails, wonderful viewpoints, gorgeous streams and beautiful waterfalls put this park at #1 on my list of best national parks I have visited. You heard it here, this is by far my favorite national park (and this still holds true to date with 31/62 visited).
We arrived at Lassen on the Northeast side of the park and visited the Butte Lake area. This is made up of Butte Lake, Fantastic Lava Beds, painted dunes and cinder cone. We headed out on the Cinder cone trail, make sure to wear hiking boots or your shoes will be filled with cinder, take lots of water, it gets hot. Painted dunes is amazing!! Check it out.
We ate lunch at Butte Lake and enjoyed the view above. An older couple joined us for lunch and we chatted about traveling and baseball. Boys walked around the lake and found HUGE pinecones. What an amazing afternoon. We headed to the main part of the park (Manzanita Lake Area) and grabbed our Junior Ranger books, shirts, stickers and all the other goodies anyone would ever want at the bookstore. We then headed to Manzanita Lake where we did a Junior ranger program, had ice cream and enjoyed people watching at the store. This store had great items, I recommend buying shirts and souvenirs here at the camp store.
The next day we headed out early and drove the Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway, stopping along the way for viewpoints, hiking and pictures. This place allows for so many pictures, it is beautiful with so much to offer.
First Stop: Manzanita Lake with Lassen Peak in the background. There is a great trail that leads up to the Visitor center.
Next up: Devastated Area
Here at the Devastated area there is an interpretive trail with lots of sign posts and broken speaker information, we were educated here by Charlie Brown’s teacher. ha! The solar power wasn’t working that day or something, the kids thought this was awesome. This is the size rocks that Lassen peak erupted with in its largest explosion on May 22, 1915, paving the way for the creation of this park on August 9, 1916. For reference, Hunter was about 6 ft 3 in this photo.
Next stops: Lake Helen, Bumpass Trailhead overlook, Emerald Lake
Next stop: Hiking to Kings Creek
We stopped here for lunch and then headed out on the trail to see an awesome waterfall. This was easily one of my favorite hikes I have ever been on. Take water, the steps are killer on the way back 🙂 The views=worth it.
We hit the sulphur works area of the park next, what a fun stop. Kids thought it stunk (sorry not sorry).
For the Finale: Junior Rangers at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center
That was 2 days of an absolutely fantastic park. Lots of things to do, lots of time getting lost in nature and lots of amazing views. I highly recommend this park and visiting Northern California, it is good for the soul!
Passport Cancellations and we are off to our next stop (Lava Beds National Monument).