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National Park “Lassen-Volcanic” 

Lassen Volcanic National Park (California, USA) – exact location, interesting places, inhabitants, routes.

Visit another planet without leaving California: the landscapes of the Lassen Volcanic National Park are so unusual that tourists often call them extraterrestrial. The reserve is located in the northern part of the state, in a sparsely populated and inaccessible area at an altitude of more than 2000 m above sea level, and is a section of the Cascade Mountains. The park has over 100 volcanoes and countless sulfur springs. Desert plains give way to rocky mountains – some of their slopes are covered with dense primeval forests, while others are burnt out by lava flows for hundreds of kilometers around and strewn with volcanic ash.

What to watch

Tourists come to Lassen-Volcanic for fantastic landscapes, often taking with them a tent, a sleeping bag and the equipment necessary for trekking. Get ready for long walks along rocky paths and pay attention to the vapors rising above the crevasses – perhaps another sulfur spring is about to burst into the light here.

Seismic activity in this area dates back to antiquity: for several hundred thousand years, the Gorda Californian tectonic plate has been sliding under the North Pacific Plate, provoking volcanic eruptions and the formation of cracks.

Some craters and depressions of the mountain range appeared about 500 thousand years ago, others – more recently. For example, the Lassen Peak volcano erupted in 1914. Then a column of smoke and ash erupted from the vent 11 km high, the cone of the volcano literally burst, and lava flows destroyed all life within a radius of hundreds of km. Now Lassen Peak is dormant – it is still considered active, and you can climb its dilapidated crater (which, by the way, remains the highest in the park), it will take about 4 hours.

A popular place for camping and starting the ascent is the shores of Summit Lake, where most of the trails meet. There are hot springs not far from Lakes Emerald and Bampas Hell, and an incredible view of the valley opens up from Diamond Peak. The visitor center is located at the southwest entrance of the park.

Practical information

GPS coordinates: 40.488056, -121.505.

How to get there: by car from Sacramento about 300 km north on I-5, then right on CA-36 E to the ranger’s house; public transport is not provided.

Opening hours: all year round 24/7, entrance during daylight hours. From October to June, some entrances to the park may be closed due to weather conditions. Many trails and attractions are only accessible in summer.

Cost: 25 USD per car, 20 USD per motorcycle, 12 USD individual entrance. The prices on the page are for November 2018.

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