Aug 12, 2010

Camping - Lassen Volcanic National Park

For as long as I've lived in San Francisco, I have wanted to go camping in Lassen Volcanic National Park. It's in northern California, just east of Redding, which is about a 4 hour drive from SF, and it's got active volcanos (all four types!), open boiling pools of water and sulfurous gas coming out of the ground! I've seen most of California, but I hadn't been here, so I've been looking forward to going ever since Eric first told me that he'd take me many, many months ago!

It had been forever since I'd been car camping, but I loved it. On Saturday, we hiked up to the very top of Mount Lassen. You drive up to the parking lot which is at 8,500 feet, and then you hike the rest of the way up to 10,500 feet, up to the crater where Mount Lassen blew back in 1915. It was incredible! Pictures never capture the feeling of being up so high, but we did manage to hike to the very, very tippy top!
Way down below us, you can see the snow in August, so that gives you a sense of how high up we were!

I downloaded a cool app into my iPhone that not only tracked our entire hike, but allowed me to take pictures along the way. Here's a link to our Hike! The satellite image was taken when the mountain was completely covered in snow. It wasn't quite that bad when we hiked it. Still, it was a grueling climb and we were thrilled when we made it to the top.

To get to the very, very top, you had to follow this trail:

If you're thinking, "What trail?", you'd be right. The last bit was a little insane, but the hike back down was total relief.

That night we made dinner and crashed. There were a million stars out, so we just sat and talked and laughed and watched the night sky and listened to the sound of the woods and the other campers. It was an incredibly peaceful evening.

I thought we'd take another hike on Sunday, but we were both worn out, so we just walked around Lake Manzanita, which was really beautiful, and then drove home.

Being unplugged from all media sources and input was a really wonderful break and left me totally refreshed by the time Monday rolled around. I need to remember that and go camping again soon! Thanks Eric!


  1. I deeply regret never taking the time to explore that part of NoCal when we lived in the Bay Area. We just got so fixated on Mendocino & Humboldt Counties that we always went there. Thanks for your great photos! What a hike though. Phew!

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