Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Lassen Adventure - Pt.1

Last month Connor and I decided to do an aggressive weekend hiking trip in Lassen. Located in Northern California, it's a little over 4 hours away from us... or 6 if you like to stop for lunch and look at things. What made this trip a little more aggressive than some is that we planned to do two hikes in two days.... but with some serious altitude. We live at around 100ft above sea level. Bumpass Hell is at 8,000ft and Lassen, well Lassen's trailhead starts at 8,500ft and peaks at 10,463ft. To help make the Lassen Peak hike more possible, we decided to stay in Mineral overnight, which is at almost 5000ft.

We also decided to do the easier of the two hikes on the first day. Bumpass Hell is a 3 mile hike, roundtrip. Easy for us, or so we thought, since we hike a 4 mile trail 2-3 times a week... usually in an hour. We were wrong as we ended up pretty winded from the elevation. But what you get to see at the end is worth the oxygen deprivation.

Bumpass Hell is a geothermic area that has fumaroles, boiling mud pots, and hot springs. The season and water levels will determine what there is more of as each phenomenon can evolve. A mud pot with more water can become a hot spring, but less water will turn it into a fumarole.

Of course you have to time your visit pretty well. When there is snow, Bumpass Hell is closed to protect people from accidentally going off trail and burning themselves. So contrary to popular belief, hell does in fact freeze over pretty often.

I was glad to see Bumpass Hell again. And Connor hadn't ever seen anything like it. There aren't too many places on earth were you can get pretty close to geothermic activity in a relatively safe manner.

As we hiked back, we were surprised to find that we were already starting to acclimate to the altitude. The walk back seemed easier. This boded well for the next day's challenge: Lassen Peak.
The further point is the actual peak. It looks shorter. It isn't.


Anonymous said...

What an awesome hiking location!

Elaine said...

That place looks awesome! :D Yay geology \o/

Alicia said...

You have such wonderful adventures, I really need to make it out west sometime...

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