The Devastated Area of Lassen Volcanic National Park is the result of the 1915 eruption of Lassen Peak, which towers above this interpretive trail about 3 miles from the summit of the peak. The trail might surprise some visitors because it meanders around a forest with intermittent views of the peak rather than through mounds of volcanic rock and dead foliage. The area doesn't exactly appear "devastated" today. Nevertheless, the numerous interpretive stations on this loop trail provide a trove of information about the powerful eruption that reshaped this area in addition to identifying some of the geologically notable boulders.
One particular volcanic "hot rock" famously photographed by B.F. Loomis just a few days after the eruption is included on this trail. After the eruption the rock stood alone on barren ground, but it is now completely surrounded by forest, a testament to how the natural ecosystem has recovered from a massive volcanic eruption. Other types of volcanic rocks in the area are also found on the trail along with information about each one.
The trail itself is quite short and can be hiked around in only a few minutes by able hikers. Those who may be mobility and/or sight impaired will enjoy the numerous reader boards that are equipped with high-quality speakers that clearly broadcast what each board says at the push of a button. The trail itself is not paved, but it is a very well maintained dirt and rock surface that is essentially the next best solution, and it will not pose any issues to those in wheelchairs who wish to learn the volcanic history and catch some impressive views of Lassen Peak along the way.