Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Lassen Peak-The crown jewel of Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Peak bathed in sunlight just before sunrise
One of the perks of getting up early to get my daughter to the bus stop is I get to see Lassen Peak in all its splendor at sunrise. I have a soft spot in my heart for mountains. They're beautiful, fierce, rugged, and a testament to God's magnificent creation. Watching the effects of light on Lassen and its granite neighbors at different times of the year makes me appreciate this beautiful mountain.

Lassen Peak with a fresh coat of snow just before sunrise
 If you haven't visited Lassen Volcanic National Park, you're missing out. It's one of my favorite places to be, and I don't get there as often as I'd like. I read somewhere that it's one of the most under visited of our national parks. I'm not sure why. It has four types of volcanoes: plug dome, shield, composite, and cinder cone. It's also an active volcanic area and a hot spot for scientists. 


Lassen Peak shrouded in smoke from the Butte Fire burning in El Dorado County
From the road, you can get up close and personal (but stay at a safe distance) with boiling mud pits and steamy sulphur vents. But if you don't mind a little exercise, you can take a hike and visit some of the more menacing features such as Bumpass Hell or Boiling Springs Lake. There's also lots of things for kids to do, such as the interactive area in the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center and various ranger led programs. 

I live within 45 minutes of this amazing park, but have yet to take advantage of all it has to offer. You can be sure, hiking to the top of Lassen Peak is on my bucket list. Just gaze at the photo above and imagine yourself at the top of the mountain on a morning like this. Breath taking!


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