Mt. Lassen is 10,462 feet in elevation and part of the Cascade Range. It lasted erupted in 1914, and is one of the largest lava domes on Earth! The actual trail is about a 2,000 ft. climb, 5 miles round trip. We managed to hike that sucker in under 5 hours, and that’s including a 1-hour break at the peak. Not bad.
Fun Fact: All four types of volcanoes found in the entire world are represented in Lassen National Park: Shield (Prospect Peak), plug dome (Lassen Peak), Cinder Cone (Cinder Cone), and Composite (Brokeoff Volcano).
The views on the way up were incredible, but the view from the top was breathtaking.
On a clear day like this, the first thing you see upon reaching the summit is Mt. Shasta to the North.
Despite having hiked Lassen twice before (once when I was 10, even!) I got to be the weakling who took the longest to get to the top, clocking in at 2 1/2 hours before I reached the peak.
It’s not the most difficult hike, but it can sure kick your butt. The combination of direct sunlight, high altitudes and relentless glacier-cold breezes don’t make it easy on you.
Chris was sweet enough to suffer through the last mile and a half by my side, putting up with my need to take a 30-second break at every switchback. At one point we sat down, enjoyed the view and practiced our “model faces,” a.k.a. trying to look as bored to death as possible. Anything to take away the pain of being utterly exhausted and still having half a mile of steep inclines to scramble over!
As if I didn’t feel like a big enough wimp already, I had to watch Kyle take on the entire mountain in flip-flops. He outlasted us all in not only stamina but also spirit.
While at the peak we lost sight of him and noticed a stick figure on a far off ridge line some 20 minutes later! The next morning he disappeared around 8am, only to return 10 minutes before check-out, shirtless with chapped lips and tales of bear sightings. Crazy kid.
After everyone trodded, stumbled and skidded their way back down the mountain, we took some victory photos in the parking lot. This was Jillian, Gina and Tatton’s first time on the peak of Lassen. Way to go, dudes!
Once again, I was the last to arrive because I was too busy nearly killing myself every hundred feet! I actually think the walk down is a lot more dangerous than the walk up– all that loose gravel and dirt made for quite a lot of near accidents.
Stay tuned for Part III where I wrap it up, but not before locking our keys in the truck!