Monday, July 30, 2012

Lassen Volcanic National Park: Double Feature

We took two trips to Lassen Volcanic National Park in the past month.  It's our favorite National Park in the area for two reasons.  One, it's just not very crowded.  Compared to Yosemite in the summer time, this place is rather deserted.  One good thing about this is that you shouldn't have any difficulty finding a first-come first-served campsite.  Second, there are a lot of different types of terrain to explore.  The park has lava beds, a few snowy peaks, bubbling sulfur springs, nice lakes, and the list goes on.

Our first trip up here this year, we hiked up Lassen Peak, which is only open to visitors one weekend a month.  The ground was covered in snow, and the temperatures were pretty low.  Despite that, this hike was not crazy difficult.  Including time to soak in the views and take some photos, the entire trip up and down the mountain took us around 5 hours.

Small Frozen Lake

View of the Peak on the Way Up

View from the Peak

Atop Mt. Lassen

The next day, we all hiked to the Cold Boiling Lake.  This was a non-strenuous hike.  Really relaxing, but not necessarily the most exciting.

On the Trail to the Cold Boiling Lake

Cold Boiling Lake - Note the Bubbles in the Water

On our second camping trip, we decided to tackle a much longer hike.  This was an all-day hike.  I don't know for sure, but I think it's around 13 miles in length.  We started off at the Butte Lake campground, and we headed southwest and climbed up Cinder Cone.  That was a pretty brutal climb up, as it was really steep and it was all cinder, which causes a lot of sliding.

Once we made it to the top, it was a bit easier, but we had a lot of distance to cover -- we continued south and went all the way down to Snag Lake.  From there we walked around the lake and started our return north around Butte Lake, and back to our campsite.  Needless to say, it was a really exhausting hike.  All in all, it took just over 9 hours including a couple short breaks to eat and take pictures.  Here are some pictures for you to enjoy.

Trail Map with our Hike Traced in Red

Cool Pic of a Blue Dragonfly in Flight

Going Up Cinder Cone

One of our Hiking Buddies and Me Looking Down into the Crater

Painted Dunes as Seen from Atop Cinder Cone

Finally Reached Snag Lake

Some Flowers next to Snag Lake

View of Butte Lake from a Higher Point during our Hike