Lassen Volcanic National Park

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Last weekend we visited one of my favorite places in the whole world, Lassen Volcanic National Park. The park is located in northern California. For us locals it’s the perfect day/weekend trip. It’s a wonderful place to visit all year round, but the main highway through the park is closed around 9 months every year, due to massive amounts of snow.  The highway is closed now.

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We parked at the south-west entrance, outside Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center. There was a lot of snow, but not the most snow I’ve seen here. I’ve seen the snow reach far above the house.

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We rented snowshoes at Redding Sports ltd, before heading up to the park. I did a lot of snowshoeing growing up, but I haven’t done it in several years. It was the very first time for my daughter.

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Traffic jam at Hwy 89! We started our hike right behind the visitor center, and we did see some people in the beginning. After Sulphur Works we saw very few people.

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Sulphur Works; Lassen Volcanic National Park’s most easily accessed hydrothermal area. It features boiling mudpots and steam vents. It smells a little, but not too bad right now. The smell is worse spring/summer. If you want to visit during winter, you park at the Southwest entrance (like we did,) and hike (preferably with snowshoes, or skies,) about one mile to the north to see them. During summer you can drive all the way, taking Hwy 89 (that takes you through the whole park.)

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This is what the restrooms closest to Sulphur Works looks like now. I thought it was funny, so I had to take a picture.

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I would of gladly carried my snowboard on my back, if I knew there was going to be so much powder on the sides. Next time..

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It looked just perfect, and it itched in me to ride in that beautiful snow.

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It was a gorgeous day. The weather was perfect, around 28 degrees and sunny, most of the time.

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It was warm, warmer than it looks. I was very happy that I’d dressed us in layers. The exercise made us happily loose several of them, on the way up.

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We took our sweet time, and stopped many, many times. We ate a lot of homemade chocolate-energy bars, that we made the day before. My daughter had fun, but she did some complaining, and needed a little encouragement from time to time. If you ever tried snowshoeing, you know how strenuous it can be. We did not follow the road the whole way, we tried some deeper snow as well.

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Despite the occasional complaining, she did beg me to buy her snowshoes of her own, before the day was over. I see that as a success! I highly encourage her to enjoy outdoor sports that interest her. If it’s something I love doing, it’s all the better 🙂

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We hiked a total of 3.7 miles, with the snowshoes.

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With views like this you don’t want to turn around.

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The higher up we climbed, the fewer people we saw.

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There was some though. Do you see the skiers at the bottom in this photo? We turned around about here, but they continued up.

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It was a wonderful, wonderful day. It’s two days later now, and I still feel it in my body. I love that feeling! (My face burns a little as well, even though we used 50SPF. The sun reflecting in the snow is very strong.) Given the choice I’d rather be back there right now, instead of in the valley, we’re supposed to get more rain here today..

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There’s a network of trails through the park, through forests, and around several lakes. It connects with the Pacific Crest Trail in the north. It’s a magical area for hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, photography, wildlife viewing, exploring, birdwatching, meditation, camping, swimming, canoeing, anything your imagination can come up with. … it’s difficult for ones imagination to have a limit here.

I hope you enjoyed the visit!

Love,

Ms Zen

 

29 thoughts on “Lassen Volcanic National Park

    1. Thank you so much! You should make that day trip 🙂 It is so beautiful, and serene. I know you like flowers, the alone meadows on the hillsides are stunning in June. I have a photo of my daughter standing in a field of millions of sunflowers taken there a couple years ago. It’s like every season is unusually intense there.

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    1. Thank you Eliza! Yes, you are right about sunglasses. So important! I wear mine all the time, I have adjustable glasses that gets as dark as they need to be, depending on the light. I have a difficult time making my daughter wear hers. She agrees to have them, but the next second they are not on her anymore. I definitely need to work on that. Thank you for the reminder.

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      1. I have green eyes and I read that blue/green eyes are more prone to sun damage than brown. But as eyesight is precious, we all need to wear sunglasses. 🙂 Maybe find some pics of ‘cool’ kids wearing sunglasses and make a collage with her? Worth a try!

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        1. Yes, I’ve read that about green/blue eyes. I have blue eyes. I did not wear sunglasses enough when I was younger. Nowadays, I can’t go out without them. My daughter have interesting eyes, they are dark brown in some light, and green in some. Her grandmother on dads side, is from Thailand.

          I will try showing her some pictures. I think she actually learned a lesson this past weekend. Her eyes got a little irritated, and we found two new pairs of sunglasses in her dresser, that she forgot about, but now wanted to try. I’m going to do my best to be more on it.

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    1. It is so wild, and intense, while not too big. I like that it has easy recognizable landmarks in every direction. For some reason it makes me feel safer, when I hike on more isolated trails. Thank you for your kind comment!

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        1. The wonderful mountain is always the same. I had to visit Susanville (CA,) yesterday, and had the pleasure of seeing Mt.Lassen from the other side, the north side. I’ve experienced it many times before, but it’s like this volcano have its own gravity around it, drawing the landscape closer. My daughter and I stopped and took a short hike. It was cold and windy, but peaceful the same time. When we got back on the road, a mountain lion jumped out in front of us, crossing the road in two gigantic jumps. It only took a second, but it was a powerful experience.

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          1. Wow. That would be an unforgettable experience. I don’t know that I knew there were mountain lions in the US. I’m off to look up what one looks like. You’re mountain is like my river – always there but different from where on the river you are and the weather.

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  1. Beautiful photos ❤️ isn’t Nor Cal awesome!? Lassen is one of my favorite places, last time I was there was when my husband and I rode on his motorcycle celebrating his 50th birthday. That was in summer, I imagine going there when it is packed with snow is even more thrilling. Thank you once again for the proof that California is more than sunny beaches and cities. My pet peeve, haha.

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    1. Yes, my friend! Totally awesome in every way! You experienced all the good things, probably more backroads than I have. I probably need to work more on that 😉 Have a wonderful weekend!

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