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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Lassen Peak Trail, CA

Guide 11 Triplogs  0 Topics
  5 of 5 
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Difficulty 4 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 5 miles
Trailhead Elevation 8,454 feet
Elevation Gain 1,990 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,040 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 3 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 15.2
Interest Historic & Peak
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
Inaugural Calculation on Button Tap!
15  2019-11-09 lojones5
13  2018-08-25 lojones5
12  2016-09-11 Lucyan
9  2015-09-02 zukerrach
10  2014-07-06 Booneman
28  2014-07-04 JimmyLyding
5  2009-08-21 AZLOT69
Author JimmyLyding
author avatar Guides 111
Routes 431
Photos 4,307
Trips 716 map ( 4,298 miles )
Age 47 Male Gender
Location Walnut Creek, CA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   Jul, Aug, Sep, Jun → 5 AM
Seasons   Late Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  5:02am - 7:22pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Popular Summit in Lassen Volcanic National Park
by JimmyLyding

Likely In-Season!
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The Lassen Peak Trail is one of the most popular trails in Lassen Volcanic National Park for good reason. Think of the bastard stepchild of Squaw Peak and Humphrey's Peak in a national park. The views are outstanding, and there's serious satisfaction from getting to the top. Don't worry about the altitude and just do it because dozens of children reach the summit every weekend. Flatlanders like me struggle a bit at high altitude so I was a little intimidated by starting at 8,454 ' above sea level, but it wasn't too bad.

Lassen Volcanic National Park is the southernmost extension of the Cascade Mountains. Its volcanic nature is found by having all 4 types of volcanoes: composite (sometimes referred to as "stratovolcanoes"), cinder cone, shield and plug dome. Lassen Peak is a plug dome volcano that last erupted in 1914-1917. A plug dome volcano is formed when molten rock flows upward, cools, and is then pushed upward by more rising and molten rock below. The eruption back then laid waste to thousands of acres on the northeast side of the mountain that are only now recovering.

The hike starts at the north side of the large parking lot, and is not difficult to find. The first 2 sections around the first switchback are longer than most of the other sections on the rest of the hike, and give a taste of the uphill climbing that awaits. This is the south side of Lassen Peak, and the vegetation consists of medium-sized white bark pine, mountain hemlock and sparse groups of flowers in this dry year.

The trail ascends over 40 switchbacks in total from the trailhead to the top, and one quickly ascends past the treeline after passing the krumholz white bark pines. The views are nonstop from beginning to end as the workout truly begins. You may notice tourists heading to the summit in casual footwear with children in tow because this is a very popular attraction in a national park. You will probably hear several languages on this hike.

Lake Helen and Vulcan's Eye are eye candy from near the bottom while much of northern California is visible from higher up. Lake Almanor and the northern end of the Sierra Nevada Mountains are to the south, and Mount Shasta, the Warner Mountains and the Modoc Plateau lie to the north. The Trinity Alps, Yolla Bolly mountains and even Snow Mountain are visible across the low Sacramento River valley to the west.

The final ascent to the summit may seem anticlimactic because the views are old hat by now, and all traces of vegetation have succumbed to loose rocks. There was a small field of snow at the top that wraps from the west side which consists of a series of depressions surrounded by 30-50' volcanic crags up over the top of the peak down the northeast slope. There was an interpretive ranger here on July 4, 2014, and numerous people went down to the blue algae-stained pool for selfies, but the highest point lies a few hundred yards to the north. There is a trail through the snow field that is very apparent before heading up a vague route to the true summit. It's only about 300 yards from the common summit to the true summit.

The true summit has two small concrete pads, and I'm not sure if they were used for surveying or a lookout. Anyways, they were good for the tripod I carried up there. There is also a summit register inside a conduit coupling dangling from a chain on the north side of the very top. Enjoy the summit and return the way you came.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

This is a moderately difficult hike.

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2014-07-08 JimmyLyding
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Lassen Volcanic National Park
    Lassen Park Fees

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    Drive 58.5 miles from lovely Red Bluff, CA to the trail head. You'll enter Lassen Volcanic National Park about 7 miles before the trail head, and the standard rates for entering a National Park apply. The fee for a 7-day pass seems reasonable. The trail head is about 1,000 yards past Lake Helen on the left, and signage is very good. The trail head has his- and her vault toilets and lots of people.
    page created by AZLOT69 on Jul 08 2014 9:21 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated
    help comment issue

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