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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
This is what the restrooms closest to Sulphur Works looks like now. I thought it was funny, so I had to take a picture.
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..
It looked just perfect, and it itched in me to ride in that beautiful snow.
It was a gorgeous day. The weather was perfect, around 28 degrees and sunny, most of the time.
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.
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.
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 🙂
We hiked a total of 3.7 miles, with the snowshoes.
With views like this you don’t want to turn around.
The higher up we climbed, the fewer people we saw.
There was some though. Do you see the skiers at the bottom in this photo? We turned around about here, but they continued up.
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..
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!