Lassen Volcanic NP: Mt. Lassen

Hike: Mt. Lassen
Where: Lassen Volcanic National Park
Trailhead: Mt. Lassen
Level: Moderate
Duration: 2 hours and 54 minutes
Length: 5 miles up and down
Gear: REI Sahara Convertible Pants, Triple Aught Design Artemis Hoodie, Outdoor Research Ignitor Tee, Patagonia Women’s Nano Puff Jacket, Outdoor Research Women’s Helium HD Jacket, Ahnu Sugarpine Waterproof Boot, Boreas Topaz 25 Daypack, and Black Diamond Ultra Distance Trekking Poles
Cost of Parking: Free

Took a few days off work to extend my 4th of July weekend and headed up to Lassen Volcanic National Park for the first time, ever. I’m super jealous of all the families I saw camping around me; I wish my parents were more into that when I was younger! We spent a few days exploring as much of the park as we could. Prepare yourself for an onslaught of my Lassen adventures! But first, my favorite adventure… hiking Mt. Lassen on the 4th of July!

We woke up bright and early at 4am to the sound of bears growling in the distance by Drakesbad and shoveled food down our throats as fast as possible. The goal was to get to the trailhead as fast as possible to catch the sunrise as we headed up. The trail is still under renovations, but it was open for the long weekend. We weren’t sure how many people would be attempting to summit and aimed to beat the crowds and heat.

The 2.5 mile trail is very moderate and family friendly. It’s wide and ascends at a steady incline. You could get a wheelchair up to the top without much difficulty. The weather was perfect, not too hot and not too cold until you neared the top where 20mph winds blew steadily. The trailhead is at around 8500 feet, so if you’re not used to the altitude, you’ll want some time to acclimatize.

The views from the top were fantastic! I waved hello to Mt. Shasta, Lake Alamanor & Mt. Harkness, and Brokeoff Mountain. My hands froze from the wind and I talked to a nice Swiss man, and then headed down around 7am. At this time, families were just beginning to head up the trail and the parking lot began to fill with more cars.

An early sunrise approach is definitely the way to go if you want some peace and quiet on the trail and summit. Otherwise, prepare for a gaggle of families and small children huffing and puffing on the way to the top.

PS – this is my highest summit yet! Hooray!

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