Lassen Peak Trail
(5 miles, +2,000/-2,000 feet).
Today was another day intimately tied to my youth. On one of my cross country trips in the early 1980s between Oklahoma and Oregon my family stopped at Lassen Peak and I climbed it with my dad. I still remember how amazed I was by the experience. I bought a souvenir t-shirt that said “Go Climb a Volcano!” and it was one of my favorites for years.
Now I get to climb Lassen Peak again.
But this time, I’m the dad.
At the trailhead there was a menacing sign that warned people not to climb the peak without crampons and ice axe. We decided to proceed anyway knowing we could turn back at any time. And that was a good decision because there were only a couple of snow fields and they were super easy to navigate.
Half cookie remarked on how lovely the trail was with its recently-rebuilt switchbacks supporting a consistent and very walkable path.
Pasta Jay scoffed at a sign that said it was 0.2 miles to the summit. But that was before he realized that the nice flat area with the signs wasn’t the summit!
At the top I snapped a photo of Pasta Jay that reminded me of the same photo my dad took of me so long ago.
The views were spectacular with skies that were much clearer than we had for our Cinder Cone hike.
We lingered a bit and then went to explore the caldera below.
Instead of going around the snow field, Pasta Jay and I climbed up it to get back across.
We ate our summit sandwiches and then headed back down the mountain.
After the hike we piled into the car and headed down to Lake Helen where a spectacular mirrored view of the summit awaited. It was almost as if Lassen Peak where whispering to us “see you again soon.”