On our last day of Memorial Day backpacking, we woke up at our Lower Twin Lake campground to the sounds of birds chirping. I was a little sad to be going home, but excited to see my cat and to wear shoes that were not hiking boots. Also, In-n-Out burgers.
Tag: lassen national forest
Day 2 of backpacking in Lassen! Woke up bright and early on Snag Lake to a malfunctioning shutter on my 5D Mark II… the rest of the photos are iPhone snaps.
Three day weekends are for adventures and Memorial Day Weekend was no exception. My best friend and I loaded up our packs and headed out to Lassen Volcanic National Park. Lassen is one of my favorite parks because it’s just so dang beautiful and it doesn’t have the crowds that Yosemite gets. Our plan was to backpack the Clusters Lake loop, but things changed a bit and we had the option of extending it. Day one was taking our time lake hopping from Summit Lake to Snag Lake.
This past summer was the first time I’ve ever been to Mt. Lassen. Here’s a quick recap and photo dump of everything I tried to jam pack into four days, plus an extra short trip.
Day One: We drove up from the Bay Area. A few forgotten items gave us a later start than we had anticipated, so we tackled Bumpass Hell that afternoon after getting into camp.
Day Two: We took off to tackle the Clusters Lake loop and the Cinder Cone, but fell a little short. We still ended clocking about 17 miles though. We also had tacos for dinner that night and it was delicious.
Day Three: On the third day, we opted for a more mellow hike from the Kings Creek Falls trailhead to Kings Creek Falls and looping around to Bench Lake and Sifford Lake.
I also ended up tackling Cold Boiling Lake from the Kings Creek Picnic Area, which ended up being underwhelming and slightly disappointing.
For dinner, we made pizza on little round sandwich bread things in foil packets tossed on the fire to get all hot and melty. It was also delicious.
Day Four: This was our last day. It also happened to be July 4th. We woke up at the buttcrack of dawn to hit the Mt. Lassen trail by 5am. We caught the sunrise on the way up and froze at the top. It was beautiful. I also ate a lot of oatmeal for breakfast.
On our way out, I decided I wanted to squeeze in one last thing: Mill Creek Falls.
One Month Later: We decided to come back to tackle the Cinder Cone for reals and check that off our list.
Hike: Mill Creek Falls
Where: Lassen Volcanic National Park
Trailhead: Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center
Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Length: 3.6 miles
Gear: Outdoor Research Turbine Shorts, Outdoor Research Ignitor Tee, Ahnu Sugarpine Waterproof Boot and Boreas Topaz 25
Cost of Parking: Free
After finishing up the Mt. Lassen hike before 9am in the morning, I decided that I had enough time to tackle one more trail and see one more sight in the park. The trailhead starts at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center and descends rapidly into conifer forest. The trail dodges in and out of patches of red fir trees all the way to the falls.
Unlike the cascading Kings Creek Falls, the Mill Creek Falls have a more majestic drop, tumbling over cliff and down into a canyon. However, due to its location, hikers get to admire the falls from an overlook instead of up close and personal. The Mill Creek Falls trail leads you up and over the falls, allowing hikers to watch the water drop down beneath them.