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Northern California Backpacking Destinations

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Peak from Manzanita LakeLocated in Northern California, Lassen Volcanic National Park offers a wide variety of activities and sights unique to the entire United States. During the summer and fall, backpacking and camping are the activities of choice, and miles of uncrowded backpacking trails take the hiker to many beautiful places. The National Park attracts an average of only 370,000 annual visitors, compared to 3.5 million in Yosemite. This lends itself to a more pristine experience, and also limits the impact we have on our national parks. Lassen is one of only two active volcanoes in the Continental United States, and the evidence of that fact is clearly visible. Fumaroles, mud pots and steam vents can be found in many areas, and fascinating geologic formations give an interesting flavor to your day’s activities. Lassen also boasts old growth forests, creeks, and alpine lakes- A perfect summer playground!

In the winter and spring, Lassen transforms into a winter wonderland for outdoor activities. The park’s good winter access and variety of terrain make it the perfect place to learn the art of winter backcountry travel, whether you want to ski, snowboard, or snowshoe. In the spring and early summer, the consolidated morning snow makes for great climbing and requires crampons and ice axe. A summit climb of Lassen Peak, 10,457 feet in elevation, is the perfect introduction to snow climbing and mountaineering- and a great stepping stone to those who aspire to climb other peaks such as Mount Shasta.

 

 

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