The western US has had a lot more volcanic activity than we ever realized. I mean, I’m not totally ignorant of the “Ring of Fire” or the basic geology & geography of the Pacific states, but there are still a lot of mountains here that are considered “active” volcanoes, and Lassen Peak is one of them.
Lassen Volcanic National Park is named for the volcanic peak which last erupted in 1915. The top of the peak overlooks the lava flows, rock slides, cinder cones, other volcanic mountain tops, and a small variety of steaming vents and mud pots reminiscent of a tiny Yellowstone.
The entire park isn’t all lava and volcanoes, though. There are miles of beautiful forest, wildflower meadows, waterfalls, and flawlessly clear mountain lakes.
Overall, we spent 5 nights inside the park: the first 4 nights at the Manzanita Lake campground and one more night backpacking in the park’s wilderness. We’ll get to that later. We did a lot of sightseeing and hiking around the park trying to take in everything it offers.
The park was having their annual film festival that weekend so we caught a few short films about the National Parks, NASA, the issue of light pollution in the US, and a film about the Pacific Crest Trail, which confirmed my lack of desire to hike the full trail but only strengthened Sarah’s desire to do it someday.
We hadn’t heard much about Lassen before we visited, but we were surprised at how beautiful it is!