The Orion

Mt. Lassen: A volcanic wonderland in our own backyard

Summit+Lake+at+sunrise+Photo+credit%3A+Carson+Predovich
Summit Lake at sunrise Photo credit: Carson Predovich

Summit Lake at sunrise Photo credit: Carson Predovich

Summit Lake at sunrise Photo credit: Carson Predovich

Carson Predovich

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






When I tell people I go to Chico State, they usually respond with “Where’s that?” or “Isn’t that in the middle of nowhere?” The reality is, Chico is a large, thriving community with an endless supply of things to do.

When you want to get outside and do something, there are some obvious choices that come to mind. Most people go to Bidwell Park, the Sacramento River, Lake Oroville, etc. Few students realize that in a short drive, you can get to some of the most spectacular places in America.

I recently went on a trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park, and it was one of the most unique and beautiful places I have ever been. It has everything from snowy peaks, meadows of wildflowers, massive waterfalls, bubbling geysers, and crystal clear lakes. This park was set aside by the U.S. government over 100 years ago because of its unmatched beauty, and we have the privilege to live so close.

The park is only about an hour and a half drive from Chico, so it can definitely be a quick day trip. When I went, we decided to stay the night and camp. We didn’t have a reservation, but were still able to get a beautiful site just steps from a gorgeous lake (good luck doing that at Yosemite).

The park itself had two entrances; the Southwest entrance is closest to Chico, and the Manzanita Lake entrance is further north. There is only one road in the park, it winds for 28 miles all around the mountain, and connects the two entrances. I highly recommend driving the full length of the road and seeing all of the park.

The most memorable parts of the park to me were Bumpass Hell, Kings Creek Falls, Summit Lake, and Manzanita Lake. Going to these four places will guarantee you have an amazing time.

Bumpass Hell

Bumpass Hell

Visible steam rising from Bumpass Hell. Photo credit: Carson Predovich

Bumpass Hell is an active geothermal zone, meaning there is boiling water, steam, and gasses spewing out of the ground. The hike is about three miles long, and is filled with spectacular views. The gas coming out of the ground is full of sulfur, so don’t be alarmed when you smell rotten eggs.

The end of the trail is made up of boardwalks, letting you walk right over bubbling mud pots and steam vents; it is unlike anything I have ever experienced.

Kings Creek Falls

Kings Creek Falls

Kings Creek Falls as seen from the overlook. Photo credit: Carson Predovich

 

Also roughly three miles, the Kings Creek Falls hike looks like something out of a postcard. Before you start the hike, I recommend walking across the street and looking at the meadow where Kings Creek begins, its one of the prettiest meadows in the park.

The hike ends at a newly built overlook, letting you stand right above the cascading waterfall. It is a great spot for photos, especially if you go early in the day when the sun is hitting the waterfall.

Summit Lake

Summit Lake

Summit Lake at sunrise Photo credit: Carson Predovich

 

Summit Lake is a beautiful high elevation lake. Lassen Peak is situated behind the lake, which reflects off of it, creating a truly amazing sight. There are two campgrounds here, so if you are looking to spend the night this place is perfect.

There is also a trail that goes around to the back side of the lake. This trail is the only place where you can see Lassen Peak reflect on the lake, so definitely take a walk out there. If you do decide to camp, you can see more stars than you can even imagine here at night.

Manzanita Lake

Manzanita Lake

Manzanita Lake has one of the best views in the park. Photo credit: Carson Predovich

 

Although it can be more crowded and touristy than the rest of the park, Manzanita Lake is a must see. The water is bright blue and filled with fish. It is the perfect place to rent a kayak or canoe and go fishing. It has one of the best views in the entire park, and is breathtaking at sunset.

The only downside to Lassen is that once it starts snowing, the road in the park closes. The road doesn’t usually reopen until June, making August-November the only time Chico State students can go.

Although places like Bidwell Park and the Sacramento River are gorgeous, nothing can match the serenity and elegance of a national park. All of the visitors there love and respect nature, which keeps the park looking pristine. This land was set aside by previous generations for us to enjoy, and it would be a shame if we didn’t do just that.

Carson Predovich can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Comment

One Response to “Mt. Lassen: A volcanic wonderland in our own backyard”

  1. Peg Redford on August 23rd, 2016 11:10 am

    What a beautiful description Carson! I would love to go there! Maybe you can be our guide!!?

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Mt. Lassen: A volcanic wonderland in our own backyard

    Blogs

    Sugaring can be both sweet and sour

  • Mt. Lassen: A volcanic wonderland in our own backyard

    Blogs

    Self-care is important; stress free phone apps

  • Mobile Headlines

    Off the Record: Sugar Parents and Hickies

  • Mt. Lassen: A volcanic wonderland in our own backyard

    Blogs

    A ‘lovebite’ is an affectionate sign of love, embrace it

  • Mt. Lassen: A volcanic wonderland in our own backyard

    Blogs

    Wildcat on the Street: Parking

  • Mt. Lassen: A volcanic wonderland in our own backyard

    Blogs

    Student parking is making me angry

  • Mt. Lassen: A volcanic wonderland in our own backyard

    Blogs

    Better ways to cope with a ‘hellish’ schedule

  • Mt. Lassen: A volcanic wonderland in our own backyard

    Columns

    Selfies are self-confidence boosters

  • Mt. Lassen: A volcanic wonderland in our own backyard

    Mobile Headlines

    Wildcat on the Street: Friend Zone

  • Mt. Lassen: A volcanic wonderland in our own backyard

    Blogs

    Walking away is easier than it sounds

X
The student news site of California State University, Chico
Mt. Lassen: A volcanic wonderland in our own backyard