Lassen Peak Area, California
If you are planning visit to California and are looking for something a little bit different, spend some time in the Lassen Peak area of California. The Lassen Volcanic National Park in the Cascade Range offers amazing volcanic formations and thermal areas. The area also includes nearby Redding, which will be your gateway to the Sacramento River, Shasta Lake and Mt. Shasta. Lassen Peak is the largest volcanic dome within California's Lassen Volcanic National Park. This volcano is the most southern active volcano in the Cascade Range. Its last eruption was in 1915, and this eruption was the most powerful of a series of eruptions in the Cascades between 1914 and 1917. There are 30 volcanoes that have been active in the last 300,000 years located within Lassen Volcanic National Park. Scientists study the geology of the area in order to potentially forecast any future activity. Through this study they can determine approximately when and how certain geologic formations were created.
The best weather in the Lassen Peak area is during the summer and fall. During the summer, the weather is generally mild, although some snow may remain on the highest trails until August. Most of the roads and trails are open during the summer and fall. The Main Park Road is generally open from summer to fall unless conditions prevent it. The winters in the Lassen Peak area are snowy, and the park is usually snowbound until spring. The Main Park Road is mostly closed during the winter and spring.
Lassen Volcanic National Park has many fascinating outdoor activities. There are miles of trails ranging from difficult to easy. Most of the time you can hike up to Lassen Peak, however, the part of the trail leading to the summit is closed until spring of 2010. There are many other trails that you can enjoy while this trail is closed, and you can hike part way up the Lassen Peak Trail. This park also has eight campgrounds. Wilderness enthusiasts can get a permit to go wilderness camping throughout a large part of the park.
Volcanic areas such as this have many very interesting geologic formations. In the Lassen Volcanic National Park you can view many hydrothermal areas. There are steam and volcanic-gas vents, called fumaroles, as well as mud pots, steaming ground and boiling pools. One of the best areas to see the park's hydrothermal areas is at Bumpass Hell. The Bumpass Hell Trail is a three mile round trip where you can see and smell this active thermal area from far away.
In addition to hiking and camping, there are many outdoor water activities you can take part in at the Lassen Volcanic National Park. The park is home to many lakes where you can use non-motorized boats. You can also participate in trout fishing on some of these lakes, but you must remember to have a valid California fishing license.
Before a visit to Lassen Volcanic National Park, you should check the weather conditions and make sure you know about any trail and road closures. You should also be aware that due to the remoteness of the park, as well as its alpine location, the weather plays a major role. If you should want to camp in this park you need to be prepared for anything.
Relatively nearby you will find Redding, California. Redding is a wonderful gateway to many of the area's interesting destinations. In Redding you will find yourself near to the Sacramento River as well as Shasta Lake and Mt. Shasta. You can walk across the Sundial Bridge, the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Sacramento River, or you can walk the Sacramento River Trail to enjoy the river views and learn about the history of the Redding area. Shasta Lake is a magnificent destination; you can take a guided tour of the lake, which will also take you to the Shasta Lake Caverns. The nearby Shasta Dam is one of the largest concrete structures in the United States. From Shasta Dam you can also enjoy spectacular views of Shasta Lake and Mt. Shasta.
The Lassen Volcanic National Park and Redding are great places to see some of the different geology and nature of California. Here you can escape the large cities and urban feel of much of the state. You will find volcanic formations that are unique to this part of California and the Cascade Range.