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Hiking Lower Echo Lake

Hiking Lower Echo Lake May 2016

Even with ski resorts closing their doors for the season and uncharacteristically warm weather in the Bay Area, winter is still very much alive and kicking in the Sierra. After a short day of wrestling pebbles and battling high winds on Hogsback, Josh and I called it quits and decided to go catch a sunset somewhere. We always talk about sunset, but by the time the sun starts to go down, we’re maybe still stuck on a route, or bouldering stoke is high, or we’re in the midst of preparing dinner. We headed east on highway 50 with Lower Echo Lake in mind, something nice and easy that we could drive up to and relax at.

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Hiking Kings Creek Falls and Sifford Lake Loop, Lassen Volcanic National Park

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Water level was a little low and quality was a little questionable without boiling, but still drinkable and swimmable. The cliffs by the lake also offer some great views of the forest.

Lassen Volcanic NP: Kings Creek Falls, Bench Lake & Sifford Lake

It was a fairly mellow trail that wound through redwoods. I wasn’t terribly impressed by most of it other than the Kings Creek Falls section. This a hit it and quit it trail; probably won’t be back to see most of it again.

Lassen Volcanic NP: Kings Creek Falls, Bench Lake & Sifford Lake

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Lassen Volcanic NP: Clusters Lake Loop & Cinder Cone

Lassen Volcanic National Park Clusters Lake Loop Cinder Cone

Really long days like this happen when I try to jam pack a lot of things into a short amount of time. I started at the Summit Lake trailhead where our campsite was. My intention was to go all the way out to the Cinder Cone (which I will be tackling this weekend), back and down around the whole Clusters Lake loop. It didn’t happen. It ended up being an out and back past Echo Lake, two unnamed lakes, Upper & Lower Twin Lakes, and Rainbow Lake to just a mile short of the Cinder Cone near the Fantastic Lava Beds and Painted Sand Dunes. This trail loops around Lower Twin lake and connects with the Pacific Crest Trail so you can opt to take that for a bit of a change of pace on your way back.

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