Backpacking Lassen Day One: Summit Lake to Snag Lake

Three Day Backpacking Lassen Lake Loop

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.

Three Day Backpacking Lassen Lake Loop

Friday night it stormed like crazy, but Saturday morning was bright and sunny. We picked up our permits from the Kohm Yah-Mah-Nee Visitor Center and drove out to Summit Lake. The two campgrounds aren’t open yet, so we parked outside the gates for Summit Lake South and began on our merry way. We passed a few large groups as we headed up the trail.

Three Day Backpacking Lassen Lake Loop Three Day Backpacking Lassen Lake Loop

Our first stop was Echo Lake where we spent some time shouting and hearing our voices echo back at us. It was beautiful. We continued on to Upper Twin Lake and then Lower Twin Lake, climbing over many downed trees.

Three Day Backpacking Lassen Lake Loop

From Lower Twin Lake, we took the trail to Rainbow Lake, and onward to Snag Lake. Snag Lake was relatively empty when we arrived but we were soon joined by a few other groups around the lake. We scoped out a protected spot in the trees with great views of Snag and Mount Hoffman. Night quickly fell and a million stars dotted the sky. The air was crisp and cool, but not too cold. It was the perfect first night.

Gear: Mountain Hardwear Ozonic 50 Outdry Backpack, Outdoor Research Aspire Rain Jacket, Outdoor Research Constellation Hoody, Icebreaker Tech T Lite, Norrøna Bitihorn Softshell Pants, Salewa Alp Flow Mid GTX Boots, Black Diamond Ultra Distance Trekking Poles