Lassen Volcanic National Park
My boyfriend Jeff and I spent five days in Lassen Volcanic National
Park during the week of
July 1, 2001. Click on the below link to see some of the pictures taken during this vacation.
The pictures in the below sequence were taken along our hikes to Cinder Cone,
Kings Creek Falls, Bumpass Hell, and Lassen Peak. Following the link are brief descriptions
of each of these hikes.
Lassen Volcanic National Park Vacation Pictures
Cinder Cone (Sources: United States Geological Survey (USGS)/National
trail brochure and USGS Cascades volcanoes web site)
Cinder Cone is a cinder cone volcano in the northeast corner of the
park. It is 700 feet high, and
is thought to have last erupted around 1650. Cinder cone volcanos are formed when erupted
material (the "cinders") fall and build up close to the vent. Cinder Cone's sides form an angle of
30 to 35 degrees, "as steep as possible without cinders rolling off the sides". The base of Cinder Cone
is reached by a trail from the Butte Lake campground. From the base, there are two trails to the top -
one on the north side, and one on the south side. We hiked up the north side trail and came down the
south side trail. East of the cone are the Painted Dunes and Fantastic Lava Beds, formed by
eruptions from Cinder Cone and other volcanic vents and cones in the area.
Kings Creek Falls
Kings Creek flows through the center of the park. The falls are
reached by a trail that starts from
the Lassen Park road. The trail follows the creek downstream, and along the way one is treated to
lots of views of the creek cascading over the rocks, and of wildflowers growing on the slopes above
Bumpass Hell (Sources: Trail brochure)
Bumpass Hell is one of several areas of geothermal activity in the park,
and is reached by a trail from
the Lassen Park road. It is an area of boiling pools, steam vents, mud pots, and beautifullly colored
rocks. Miles below the surface lies hot volcanic rock (magma). Ground water from rain and melting
snow is heated by the magma and returns to the surface as steam. The steam heats the pools of standing
water and pockets of mud in the area, causing them to boil. There are pockets of thermal activity below
the surface, so that the ground in the area is not all solid. The area is named after its discoverer,
Kendall Vanhook Bumpass, and his experience there. Apparently he lost a leg when he stepped on one
of those gas pockets, broke through the crust, and was immersed in a thermal pool.
Lassen Peak (Sources: Trail Brochure)
The central focus of the park is Lassen Peak, an 10,457 high volcano.
Lassen Peak's last series of eruptions
occurred during the years 1914-1921, with minor activity up to 1940. The peak is reached by a trail from
the Lassen Park road, that switchbacks up the south side of the mountain. The trail is 2 - 2.5 miles long,
and one climbs 2000 feet in that distance. It is the highest point in the park, and on a clear day one can see
the other volcanoes in the park, Mount Shasta, and even the Sacramento Valley.
More information on the park and its volcanoes can be found at the following two websites:
Lassen Volcanic National
Park (National Park Service)
USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO)