Monday, July 15, 2013

Mt. Lassen, Burney Falls – Yep, Another Long Drive

For the longtime followers of this blog, you might be asking, “Didn’t you do Mt. Lassen and Burney Falls last year?”  Well, yes and no.  Last year we visited Lassen National Park on May 21 and May 23, but we could not go all the way across highway 89 because they were still clearing snow from the road.  On May 22, we visited Burney Falls, but since we were going to be so close today in Lassen, we might was well drive the extra miles to Burney Falls since Marcia considers this one of her favorite places that we visited last year.


On the way, Marcia snapped the above picture from the south end of Lake Almanor.  Our trip would take us along the west side of the lake on the way, and the east side of the lake on the way back.  Last year we did the north side, and the south side is covered by the east and west routes which meet at the southern tip, so now we have driven around the entire lake.  Almanor has the capacity of over 1.3 million acre feet, with a maximum depth of 90 feet.  The 130 foot high dam, built in 1927/28, dams the North Fork of the Feather River.


As we drove north along the Lake, we could see Lassen in the distance.  We left shortly after 9 am, and it is now 10 am….it will take an hour before we reach the southern entrance and visitor center, which is just about as far as we were able to drive last year from this side of the park.


As we enter the visitor’s center, we pass this small gathering (above), and find that it is going to be a funeral for a Viet Nam Vet who had passed away due to Agent Orange.  The lady in the white dress to the far right told me that her dad and he were best friends, did a lot of camping and fishing, and that Agent Orange had given him mouth and throat cancer (did not ask if he smoked, figured it was best not to go there.)  Sure looked like a heck of a way to say goodbye to your friends…bless him for his service that he gave to our country.


Last year we made it as far as the Bumpass Hell turnout before we had to turn around due to the snow.  Although we passed Emerald Lake (above) last year, it was covered with snow.  Today you could sure see the green within the water, which is how it gets its name.  Below is a picture of Bumpass Hell, last year 20 feet of snow blocked our view.


You can see the pathway which leads to Bumpass Hell, which is 16 acres of thermo activity to the right and beyond this mountain.  You can see the path near the base of the mountain, but this hike, like most, is a bit too much for Marcia’s GoGo to handle (not say that I would be able to do all that huffing and puffing myself.)  At the Bumpass Hell parking lot one gets some great views of the area, many of which we showed last year, but below is another one without any snow all around (except for a little on the mountain to the far right).


From Bumpass Hell to Devastated Area, we had not been able to travel last year.  It is a very scenic route, and includes a wonderful view of Lake Helen shown in the two pictures below.  (remember, you can click on any picture to see a larger version of it)

2d  2e

As we get over to the pass, the view sout to Lake Almanor (below) is outstanding, sure wish it was a bit clearer of a day, but the lake is out there in the distance, and Quincy would be in the far mountains beyond the lake.  It is now around 11:30.


Highway 89 snakes around as it starts to work its way to the other side of Mt. Lassen toward Devastated Area.  We pass Summit Lake where there are two camping areas, a ranger station, and soon we come to this meadow with a wonderful view of Mt. Lassen.


Finally we come to Devastated Area, where we did a hike last year.  We have now completed the journey we started last year, and it was well worth the wait.  Here is one more picture of Mt. Lassen from Devastated Area….boy this camera doe such a better job than the one we had last year, that’s for sure.


We work our way to the north entrance to the park and continue north on highway 89.  Around 1:30 we get to Burney Falls, and there we have our lunch….yep, PB&J sandwiches, like most of our day trip lunches last year.  We get the GoGo out, grabbed the dogs and head over to the Falls.  The crowd is light, many of them head all the way down to the bottom, but we spent our time along the upper overlook.  It really is a wonderful falls, and I take many many pictures, trying all sorts of settings, trying to learn just what this new camera is capable of doing.  Now I wont bore you will all the many shots, so I will just share the best one, the one I like the most….


Oh that Skruffy, she sure loves to get into the shots…. But as you can see below, it is a wonderful waterfall, and we enjoyed out time there….mostly spend in the shade.


Driving back to Quincy, we went east of Lassen National Park, making the return trip much faster, but not nearly as scenic….Marcia got a bit of a nap.  Eventually we were headed south along the eastside of Lake Almanor, and I got this one last shot of Mt. Lassen.


We really enjoyed our day, despite the long drive.  The weather  in Lassen was in the high 60’s to mid-70’s.  Burney Falls it was in the upper 80’s.  I really love the Sierra Nevada Mountains…truly one of the majestic wonders of God.


  1. I visited Mt. Lassen a few years back. My favorite photo that I took was of Hat Lake.

    Thanks for all the beautiful photos - I especially like Skruffy with the waterfall in the background!

  2. Beautiful photos!! Love snow on the mountains. Your temps sound like a dream as we are doing the typical HHH of the east. Not fun!

    We almost had to miss Lassen NP last summer. There was a wildfire in between the two roads to the park and a fire inside park. Finally on our last day the roads leading to the park opened. And it was also our good fortune that at noon the day we arrived, they were opening the road through the park! All the campgrounds were housing the fire fighters. We were on the motorcycle so we didn't do any hiking just enjoyed the drive.

    I'm sorry we didn't drive to the falls. They looked beautiful.

    Your new camera captured some amazing views!


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