May 31, 2012

5/31/12 - Lassen Volcanic NP

They say it's all about timing...and our timing to visit Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California has been absolutely lousy! 

The first time we saw Lassen Peak was in November, 2010, right after we started our trip.  I think they closed the roads in the park as we drove past on I-5.  This year we arrived on May 31st.  The main road from the north was only open 10 miles to the Devastated Area, and only partway from the south.  They were planning to open the whole road the very next day, but we had reservations at a campground in Oregon. 
Lassen isn't a park I'd heard about before this trip.  The last eruption was in 1915, and there are still active volcanoes there.  There are hydrothermal areas and smoking fumaroles, like a mini-version of Yellowstone.  The part of the park I really wanted to see--trails to Bumpass Hell and Sulphur Works--was still under 8' of snow!  We didn't have snowshoes with us...actually we don't have snowshoes at all. 
We checked out the Loomis Museum and the 1929 Seismograph building , then drove as far as we could. 

We stopped for pictures at The Crags, Hot Rock, took a hike around the Devastated Area.  On the drive back, we stopped at Manzanita Lake and Reflection Lake, then walked the little Lily Pond trail through the Chaos Jumbles.
Rocks can be ordered in large, extra-large and super-size categories:


So can the pine cones:

 Check out this snow plant, which looks less like snow than anything I've ever seen !

Maybe the next time we drive past it will be summer??

Click the link for more pics of Lassen:  Lassen Volcanic NP