On the next stop of our California tour; Lassen Volcanic National Park! It was a short 4 hour drive from the Redwood, which makes it a great addition to a Redwoods destination vacation. It adds a little variety and will have a lot less crowds!
This park gets its name because it of the volcanoes. Within this park, all four types of volcanoes can be found; shield, composite, cinder cone, and plug dome. Lassen Peak is one of the largest plug dome volcanoes in the world and it erupted less than 100 years ago! Every rock in this park is due to volcanic eruptions.
Mike and I entered the park from the Northeast and took the 30 mile scenic drive through the park We first came across the “Chaos Crags and Jumbles.’ The mess of GIANT rocks here all rolled here at 100mph from a volcano. Whilst rocking and rolling to this area, it created the next area that we visited; Devastated Area. Pretty apt description.
The middle section of the drive, Mike and I just enjoyed the scenery from our car. The main attraction here (that we skipped) was Summit Lake. However, we wanted to get to the Lassen Peak area before it was too hot since Mike obviously was going to climb that summit.
While Mike was hiking, I took adventure pup to some view points, walked around Emerald Lake and Lake Helen, and visited the Sulphur Works area! Luca enjoyed the scent here more than I. At this section, there are boiling mudpots, steam vents, and fumaroles that are all bubbling and gurgling! This section is observed and studied by scientists to predict future eruptions, which they say ARE going to happen. Earthquakes, wildfires, and volcano eruptions? California, you have quite the trifecta.
Unfortunately, while we were at this park, renovations were occurring at the Bumpass Trail area. This section definitely seems to be one of the most visited and popular sections of the park based on the park literature and website, so that was a bit of a bummer. Just another reason to go back and visit though, right?
To be honest, we didn’t do this park justice during our visit. We pulled a classic tourist move and spent one day here. However, I know this park could offer plenty of things for a full week! They have over 150 miles of hiking trails, boating, fishing, swimming, and more! And apparently, their winter is pretty amazing for skiing and snowshoeing. We’ll be back, Lassen, we’ll be back.