We had a few hours in the park where we didn’t do any major hiking. That doesn’t mean the camera stays in the pack though!
First an image on the way to the park. We passed it in the morning and I just knew the afternoon light would be amazing. Right before I got this image, there were a few ravens in the field. I don’t know what they were doing, but they scolded me then took off in a huff.
Like many other National Parks, this one is surrounded by National Forest that has space for residences and other human activities. This one hasn’t seen any in a while though.
Hubby on the trail ahead of me on an afternoon hike on our first day in the park. We arrived in the afternoon, but couldn’t stay in the car! The elevation and the steep trail grade killed us though since we hadn’t had any time to acclimate. The town we were staying in, Red Bluffs, is at around 1000 feet above sea level while Lassen’s main road is at about 7000 feet. Pretty much all the hiking is up from there. At 1000 feet there is 20% oxygen in the air, at 7000 it’s down to 16%. These days I live at about 1200 feet and so…hard on the lungs!
Same hike a little further on. There’s a good-sized creek that flows close to the trail and some areas that get a little wet. This is the first of several sections of lovely boardwalk.
This next area is a little misleading in the sense of what comes just down the road from it. It’s the start of a much larger lake area that I didn’t have time to explore. The creek comes in from the right and spreads out forming this marshy area.
And here’s a view of the creek itself –
And this is what comes next.
This is called The Devastated Area and I’m sad I didn’t have time to walk in and explore it. Believe it or not the damage is from the 1915 explosion of Lassen Peak.
It’s easy to see the difference in how the environment recovers from a volcanic event versus a fire. I’m not sure what causes the difference, but the fact that these trees are still standing despite the winters, the wind, the storms and just time itself is incredible.
Oh and what would a volcanic park be without boiling mud? I wish I could have filmed more, but the trail with most of it was closed for repairs. Oh well. But at least I got this little one and thankfully you can’t smell it!
If I ever go back to Lassen, I’ll make time to see the Devastated area and some of the other places I didn’t see.