Expedition Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller
Date: July 9, 10, 11, 2022
This national park was one of our favorites on the 43-day trip. Often described as “Yosemite without the crowds”, this national park had it all from a combination of lakes, high mountain trails, scenic overlooks, to hydrothermal features. This park is one of the few places in the world that contains all four types of volcanoes: plug dome, shield, cinder dome and stratovolcano. We did four hikes total reaching 9,950 feet elevation on the last hike just shy of the summit on Lassen Peak. The views were incredible.
Driving through the east half of the park, parts were devastated by the 2021 Dixie Fire which burned over 960,000 acres. We stopped at one trail where the fire burned. We also stopped at Chaos Crags Rocks where a rockslide racing 100 miles an hour down the slopes of the volcanoes occurred long ago. Hot Rock was a huge several ton rock, where during the massive 1915 eruption a photographer, stood and said this rock was too hot to touch after it was ejected from the crater. Although the national park rangers said we couldn’t carry bear spray because it is considered a weapon in California, we carried it anyway on the hiking trails as the rangers told us there were about 60 black bears living in the park.
We camped at the award-winning Shingletown KOA which was about 15 miles from the park entrance. We sat around the campfire and enjoyed a beautiful blue sky and green mountain scenery. We hung Rosie’s hammock in the woods, enjoyed riding the local bike trail and attended mass at Mary Queen of Peace Church, a small church in the forest which had room for only about 15 parishioners.