Sitting on the eastern side of Northern California lies our beloved Lassen Peak, an active volcano sitting in the middle of one of the most amazing parks in the world – Lassen Volcanic National Park. We know that hiking to the summit of Lassen Peak is a gem and now the world knows it as well.
The trek the Lassen Peak finds itself in good company on National Geographic’s list of Top 10 Walk-Up Summit Hikes In The U.S. The five-mile roundtrip hike has long been one of the most popular in Northern California. Sitting at number 8 on their list, here is what National Geographic had to say about the popular hike:
There’s plenty to see from roads and on short walks around this northern California national park, including four different types of volcanoes (plug-dome, composite, shield, and cinder cone) and hydrothermal features such as hot springs, bubbling mud cauldrons, and steam vents. For a wonderful overview of the volcano-shaped landscape, though, it’s a fairly simple matter, if acclimatized, to reach the top of Lassen Peak, ascending 2,000 feet over a distance of 2.5 miles. The largest plug-dome volcano in the world (one in which lava cooled and plugged the outlet vent), Lassen overlooks the rugged remains of an ancient volcanic peak called Mount Tehama, which collapsed hundreds of thousands of years ago. On a clear day, Mount Shasta, 75 miles to the northwest, is visible. Much nearer and to the northeast lies the Devastated Area, a landscape showing the effects of Lassen Peak’s violent May 22, 1915, eruption, which sent out massive amounts of ash, steam, and gas. Rising to 10,457 feet, Lassen Peak is one of the snowiest places in northern California, and most of the park’s main roads may not open until July. The trail to the top of Lassen may be snow free for only three months or so.
The list is accumulative for the United States, with the Lassen hike sitting right below nearby Mount Scott in Southern Oregon’s Crater Lake National Park on the list. Here is the complete list:
1. Lookout Peak – Kings Canyon National Park, California
2. Avalanche Peak – Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
3. Stony Man – Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
4. Wildrose Peak – Death Valley National Park, California
5. Guadalupe Peak – Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas
6. Hallett Peak – Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
7. Mount Scott – Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
8. Lassen Peak – Lassen Volcanic National Park, California
9. Wheeler Peak – Great Basin National Park, Nevada
10. Angels Landing – Zion National Park, Utah
There’s no surprise here, but it does validate our suspicions that our local landmarks are some of the best in the country, if not the world. To learn more about the hike to the top of Lassen Peak, check out Climbing a Volcano: Hiking to the Summit of Lassen Peak.