Plan a Vacation to Beautiful Lassen Volcanic National Park, California
Lassen Volcanic National Park is a beautiful active volcanic area in the Northeast of California, directly east of Eureka, north of Sacramento, and northwest of Reno, Nevada. With bubbling mud pots and geothermal activity, the area has many interesting hiking spots, sightseeing opportunities, and ample campgrounds to make for an exciting wilderness vacation getaway.
Lassen Volcanic National Park contains one of the most active volcanoes in the Cascade Mountain Range of the United States, Lassen Peak. The peak erupted throughout 1914-1917, destroying nearly 100,000 acres of land. The peak is also the last eruption in the United States before the famed Mount St. Helens eruption of 1980.
Photo of Lassen Peak by MiguelVieira on flickr, licensed under Creative Commons 2.0
Bumpass Hell is the largest geothermal area in Lassen Volcanic National Park. Spattering, bubbling mudpots, fumaroles and hot springs comprise the fascinating 16 acre area. The area was named after Kendal Vanhook Bumpass, who lost his leg in a thinly crusted over boiling mudpot in the 1860s. The trail to Bumpass Hell is a 1.5 mile hike from the parking lot near Lake Helen, and can sometimes be slippery from snow even in the peak summer months.
Cinder Cone and the Fantastic Lava Beds
No, this isn’t an aging rock band from the ’70s, the Cinder Cone area of Lassen Volcanic National Park is where a previous volcanic event occurred within the park within the past few hundred years (which we know because of the plant growth in the area). The cone itself is a 700 foot pile of scoria, or tiny pieces of volcanic rock. The “fantastic lava beds” pour from the base of the cinder cone, and appear very youthful and fresh in age due to the type of rock.
Ideas for Making Lassen Volcanic National Park Part of Your Vacation
Lassen Volcanic National Park is a remote area of California, but can easily be integrated with a vacation planned to other California destinations. A trip east will afford beautiful views of the Coastal Redwoods and the Northern California coastline, while just south is San Francisco, Point Reyes, and Napa Valley. East is the city of Reno and the Lake Tahoe area, and south from that Yosemite National Park. Plan the perfect road trip by driving to each of these destinations and staying a day or two. You can visit all of these areas in a week, with one day at each area.