Planned the hike and SOTA activation of Lassen Peak (W6/CN-002) for the second day in Lassen Volcanic.
The weather was fair and spirits were high. I slept well and was ready for the highest summit in the park.
Lassen volcanic is an extremely diverse place in the geological sense. All four types of volcanoes are represented: Cinder Cone is quite unsurprisingly a Cinder Cone volcano, Prospect Peak is a Shield volcano, Brokeoff mountain is what’s left of a very large Composite volcano and, finally, our star today - Lassen Peak is a Plug Dome.
Once again I was driving from Red Bluff through the southwestern park entrance. It is about an hour drive to the pay booth and another 25-30 minutes to the parking and trailhead. I believe during peak season parking fills up by 10:00. Thunderstorms are possible and usually occur in the afternoon, yet another reason to start early.
The trail is 5.1 miles / 8.2 km out and back. Elevation gain 1970 ft / 600 m.
There is a restroom on the parking lot. Expect temperatures around 40-50F / 5-10C at the trailhead and dropping as you climb + wind. Wear layers, sunscreen and a head cover. Trail had been reopened in 2015 after a long maintenance and is in the excellent condition in 2020.
There is some shade on the trail for the first mile or so but then you are in the open.
There are couple of snow tongues on the trail and my thin-soled Merrels didn’t grab much on a wet snow. Hiking poles saved the day though.
The last 100 ft is an easy scramble. Look around to avoid bumping into other tourists.
Mt. Shasta is 80 miles / 130 kilometers to the north and such a beauty in her snow veil!
Keep an eye on your food and don’t feed the wildlife.
There is no glacier on Lassen Peak but the mountain gets enough snow in winter to sustain quite a few permanent snow patches in the crater.
Lassen Peak SOTA activation
I’ve made it! Ether was busy on Independence day weekend. Started calling CQ on 14.060 but due to QSB decided to QSY to to 14.0615. Lot of success there! Made a contact with Daniel NA6MG - fellow SOTA enthusiast and holder of Mountain Goat status! Daniel was super kind to spot me and I’ve got myself a tiny pile up in no time!
Stations worked from Lassen Peak W6/CN-002
Got back to parking fairly quickly. I’ve initially planned visiting Bumpass Hell area on the third day but it was still early, around 14:00 when I was in my car. I decided I have just enough time for this trail before calling it a day.
Cold Boiling lake and Bumpass Hell
I recommend the second option - Bumpass Trailhead Parking gets full early. In my experience it is easier to find a parking space near Kings Creek Picnic area because there are multiple trails of a varying difficulty starting from there and people who finished their easy trails and lunches tend to shuffle out by 14:00.
N.B. It’s not cold (rather lukewarm) and not very boiling. Full of bamboozlery.
The trail gets quite muddy in couple of places and you need to balance on logs / rocks. Nothing too difficult.
I highly recommend to stick to the trail - Bumpass Hell is named after Kendall VanHook Bumpass who fell into a geothermal pot and had his scalded leg amputated. Sapienti sat.
Returned to the car using same trail. Most of people left the park by this time and I could spend some time enjoying water, mountains and deep blue skies unimpeded.
This is it! Satisfied with hiking and SOTA exploits I’ve returned to hotel to repack for Terminal Geyser hike on Sunday. Happy birthday USA!