This summer we ran more trips in Lassen Volcanic National Park than we ever have. We had the opportunity to backpack in this park with 4 6-Day Lassen High Country Adventures, 2 of our 13-day Summer Camps, and even a 6-Day Lassen Young Adventurer’s trip! In total, at least 40 youth got to experience the magic of this unique, volcanic landscape dotted with picturesque lakes everywhere you turn.
Lassen is home to Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world and this park is one of the few spots in the world where you can visit all four types of volcanoes: plug dome, shield, cinder cone, and stratovolcano! The Atsugewi have inhabited the area since long before white settlers first saw Lassen. They knew that the peak was full of fire and water and thought it would one day blow itself apart. Starting in May 1914 and lasting until 1921, a series of minor to significant eruptions occurred on Mt. Lassen. These events created a new crater, and released lava and a great deal of ash. Because of the eruptive activity, which continued through 1917, and the area’s stark volcanic beauty, Lassen Peak, Cinder Cone, and the surrounding area were declared a National Park on August 9, 1916.
The hike up to and inside the Cinder Cone was definitely a highlight for many of the Summer Camp groups. With the last eruption believed to have happened in 1666, everyone felt pretty safe hiking up the out-of-this-world landscape. The fauna in Lassen is pretty similar to Yosemite, although Lassen is home to the largest known Sierra Nevada red fox population, one of the rarest mammals in California! We don’t know if there were any red fox sightings on these trips, but we do know many spectacular sunsets were shared with scores of new friends. We look forward to sharing with more youth what makes Lassen so special next year!