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Lassen Peak

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Mount Lassen Volcanic Area, California

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Lassen Peak

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  • Looking down at the switchbacks from the peak.- Lassen Peak
  • The hike has great views of the surrounding park.- Lassen Peak
  • Looking at Brokeoff Mountain (9,235') and other smaller peaks from the trail.- Lassen Peak
  • Hiking around the caldera.- Lassen Peak
  • Looking into the caldera from the highest point.- Lassen Peak
  • Kings Creek Meadow can be seen in the southeast.- Lassen Peak
  • Mount Shasta (14,180') can be seen in the distance.- Lassen Peak
  • Watching the sun set from the peak.- Lassen Peak
  • The sun sets with a little snow left.- Lassen Peak
  • Sunset over the northern valley from the peak.- Lassen Peak
  • Lassen Peak (10,463') from the parking lot under a full moon.- Lassen Peak
  • A full moon rises over the caldera.- Lassen Peak
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Active volcano. Mountain summit. Short trail.
Cons: 
Strenuous. High elevation. Exposed.
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Region:
Mount Lassen Volcanic Area, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,919.00 ft (584.91 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
5.20 mi (8.37 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
8,500.00 ft (2,590.80 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Hiking Lassen Peak in the summer and fall is very rewarding. The incredible views of Northern California that include Lassen Volcanic National Park, Mount Shasta and the Trinity Alps is well worth the ascent. This hike is also perfect during a full moon, as the trail has been recently renovated and is easy to see.

Lassen Peak is the world's largest plug dome volcano and the southernmost active volcano in the Cascade Mountain Range. This volcano was formed from redirected lava flow after a larger nearby volcano (known as Mount Tehama) went extinct around 400,000 years ago. From 1914 through 1917 Lassen Peak underwent its own series of eruptions. The largest eruption occurred on May 22, 1915, and sent ash over 200 miles to the east. This same eruption created the “Devastated Area” seen running down from the peak to the northeast. Since 1917 the only other volcano in the Cascade Range to erupt has been Mount St. Helens.

Lassen Peak is primarily composed of dacite rock that started flowing from the northeast edge of Mount Tehama around 31,000 years ago. As this lava cooled it created the talus slopes of Lassen Peak. At only 100 years old, the black dacite atop the peak is the youngest rock in California. This rock was formed during the May 22, 1915, eruption.

A special animal is found on the slopes of Lassen Peak: the American pika (Ochotona princeps) is a small mammal that helps scientists study climate change. Habitat for the American pika has been shrinking as the climate warms, and they have been driven further and further up the mountain in search of cooler temperatures. Scientists and members of the National Park Service are monitoring the American pika and its habitat range in a three-year research project titled “Pikas in Peril.”

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(3 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(24 within a 30 mile radius)

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