Lassen Volcanic National Park

l8 (1)

Last weekend we visited one of my favorite places in the whole world, Lassen Volcanic National Park. The park is located in northern California. For us locals it’s the perfect day/weekend trip. It’s a wonderful place to visit all year round, but the main highway through the park is closed around 9 months every year, due to massive amounts of snow.  The highway is closed now.

l2 (1)

We parked at the south-west entrance, outside Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center. There was a lot of snow, but not the most snow I’ve seen here. I’ve seen the snow reach far above the house.


We rented snowshoes at Redding Sports ltd, before heading up to the park. I did a lot of snowshoeing growing up, but I haven’t done it in several years. It was the very first time for my daughter.



Traffic jam at Hwy 89! We started our hike right behind the visitor center, and we did see some people in the beginning. After Sulphur Works we saw very few people.

l6 (1)

Sulphur Works; Lassen Volcanic National Park’s most easily accessed hydrothermal area. It features boiling mudpots and steam vents. It smells a little, but not too bad right now. The smell is worse spring/summer. If you want to visit during winter, you park at the Southwest entrance (like we did,) and hike (preferably with snowshoes, or skies,) about one mile to the north to see them. During summer you can drive all the way, taking Hwy 89 (that takes you through the whole park.)

l5 (1)


This is what the restrooms closest to Sulphur Works looks like now. I thought it was funny, so I had to take a picture.

l23 (1)

I would of gladly carried my snowboard on my back, if I knew there was going to be so much powder on the sides. Next time..

l20 (1)

It looked just perfect, and it itched in me to ride in that beautiful snow.

l4 (1)

It was a gorgeous day. The weather was perfect, around 28 degrees and sunny, most of the time.


It was warm, warmer than it looks. I was very happy that I’d dressed us in layers. The exercise made us happily loose several of them, on the way up.


We took our sweet time, and stopped many, many times. We ate a lot of homemade chocolate-energy bars, that we made the day before. My daughter had fun, but she did some complaining, and needed a little encouragement from time to time. If you ever tried snowshoeing, you know how strenuous it can be. We did not follow the road the whole way, we tried some deeper snow as well.


Despite the occasional complaining, she did beg me to buy her snowshoes of her own, before the day was over. I see that as a success! I highly encourage her to enjoy outdoor sports that interest her. If it’s something I love doing, it’s all the better 🙂


We hiked a total of 3.7 miles, with the snowshoes.

l12 (1)

With views like this you don’t want to turn around.

l25 (1)

The higher up we climbed, the fewer people we saw.

l18 (1)

There was some though. Do you see the skiers at the bottom in this photo? We turned around about here, but they continued up.

l9 (1)

It was a wonderful, wonderful day. It’s two days later now, and I still feel it in my body. I love that feeling! (My face burns a little as well, even though we used 50SPF. The sun reflecting in the snow is very strong.) Given the choice I’d rather be back there right now, instead of in the valley, we’re supposed to get more rain here today..

l22 (1)

There’s a network of trails through the park, through forests, and around several lakes. It connects with the Pacific Crest Trail in the north. It’s a magical area for hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, photography, wildlife viewing, exploring, birdwatching, meditation, camping, swimming, canoeing, anything your imagination can come up with. … it’s difficult for ones imagination to have a limit here.

I hope you enjoyed the visit!


Ms Zen


Out of This World 2 – Volcanic Legacy

ic24 (1)

These volcanic rocks that are scattered below Mt Lassen (CA,) sure looks like something Out of This World, don’t you think? Mt Lassen is an active volcano, meaning that it could have another eruption at some point. The volcanic rocks in this photo is from the big eruptions in May 1915. The ash rained down on a radius of more than 200 miles around Mt Lassen. I recently read a story about two young men, homesteaders, that acquired two adjoining lots below Mt Lassen, just before this eruption. It was a thrilling read to experience the eruption through their words. I read the story in; The Pacific Crest Trailside Reader, California: Adventure, History, and Legend on the Long-Distance Trail . (I’m not an affiliate, just a good read. For less than $2!) I find it very interesting to read stories, and legends about our two volcanoes, Mt Lassen, and Mt Shasta. There was a great story about Mt Shasta in that book as well, supposedly an eye witness story..(decide for yourself if you believe it or not!)

I love hiking in the areas of the volcanoes, and explore the landscape that so evidently bear witness of their eruptions. I took the photos in this post while hiking Iron Canyon Trail, outside Red Bluff (CA.) I really like this trail, everything about it except the cows and occasional bulls (so big and unpredictable.) It’s free range in this area, and you’re actually in their “pasture”.

ic16 (1)

Looking in the other direction on the trail, is the Sacramento River. This is an historic overlook, called river bend. It’s approximately 2 miles into the hike (the hike is 4-5 miles. Depending on what trail you choose. There’s several different trails, not that well marked, but they all lead back to the parking lot.) I usually stop for a quiet moment of meditation above the river when reaching this point. It’s not a high trafficked trail, and you often have this place all to yourself. I remember experiencing it for the first time, with my daughter, it took our breath away. This view comes all of a sudden, while hiking in the barren volcanic landscape. It’s very surreal. The whole hike through this volcanic tablelands is.

I hope you enjoyed the photos. If you’re interested in doing the hike yourself, take Hwy 36 East from Red Bluff, after a little more than 5 miles you’ll se the trail head on your left side. It’s easy to find, and easy to hike. My daughter was 2 years old the first time she did the whole hike by herself. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail. There may be some water on the trail during spring, but totally doable, wear good shoes. This trail is awesome all year round, but doesn’t have any shade for those hot summer days. Best to do the hike sunset, or sunrise, during the hot months (end of April- end of September.)

How is your week so far? I hope it got off to the best possible start! I accidentally slept in this I believe my body needed it. I usually get up at 4-5 most mornings. I don’t set an alarm, I’m just a morning person. Today I woke up at 6.20!! After that well needed rest, Ghost (my horse) and I, had a fun session of outdoor play, at liberty. You can see the photos on Instagram.

Have a wonderful day!



Ms Zen


search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close