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Mount Lassen area suggestions

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Mount Lassen area suggestions

Postby oleander » Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:23 pm

I might find myself in the Mt. Lassen area in the near future. Looking for a 3-4 day hike. Probably prefer to stick to trails this time, 12-15 miles per day, but could be talked into some x-country (level 3 backpacker, ok to easy Class 3).

I have the Trekking California book, which profiles some loops that visit a lot of lakes. Looks intriguing, but seeking other opinions too. Not going fishing; just like lakes and high alpine scenery (yes, I know it's not the High Sierra but I'll make do).

Heard there was a fire up there; but current CA fire map does not indicate any still going in that region. A couple of fires are burning north of Alturus, but that's pretty far north.

- Elizabeth



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Re: Mount Lassen area suggestions

Postby gochicagobears! » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:06 pm

I've done some hiking in the Thousand Lakes Wilderness, but if you're looking for 12-15 miles/day that may be hard to do given the relative size of the Wilderness.
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Re: Mount Lassen area suggestions

Postby maverick » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:44 pm

Moved to this section because it belongs to the Cascade Range. :)
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Mount Lassen area suggestions

Postby balzaccom » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:44 pm

Elizabeth:

Lassen and its surrounding areas are actually fairly small in comparison to the Sierra wilderness areas...and it's pretty hard to hike for too many miles without running out of room.

THe classic hike in Lassen itself is the Summit Lake Loop---with a side trip down to Snag Lake for one of the nights. But the loop is only about ten miles long.
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check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
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Re: Mount Lassen area suggestions

Postby dave54 » Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:51 pm

You can add some loops with the adjacent Caribou Wilderness. Off trail hiking is easy in the eastern half of the Park. Go to the Lassen NF website for free downloadable topo maps.
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Re: Mount Lassen area suggestions

Postby dave54 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:00 pm

My previous post was done from a tablet using an air card from somewhere near the Weminuche Wilderness in CO, so I could not elaborate (barely had a signal).

Many loops are available like you want. Several major fires over the last few years make cross country hiking easy (some magnetic anomalies in the SE corner of the park, compasses not always right. GPS even go astray).

A few trails outside the park on NF lands connect to the Park trail system. If you are more adventurous a combo trip can be arranged. Stash a mountain bike around Spencer Meadows (south boundary of Park, about the center), then drive to Butte Lake at the NE corner of the Park and start your hike roughly diagonally SW through the Park, exiting at Spencer Meadows. Retrieve the bike and bikepack to Butte Lake on unpaved forest roads and trails. Clockwise or counterclockwise is possible, I prefer clockwise.

Bring a canoe or kayak and paddle to the south end of Butte Lake. Stash the boat and start the hike from there. You can head east to the Caribou Wilderness and loop back to the Park, or to Snag Lake and make a broad loop around the Lava Beds and Cinder Cone (be sure and hike to the top of Cinder Cone. It is a real bear of a climb but the view is worth it -- world class) Do not off trail into the lava beds. They will tear you up, like walking on a pile of razor blades.

The west side of the Park has less of a trail system, although there is a nice lake at the SW corner of the Park (Heart Lake) with a trail from the 17 Road on NF to the Park trail system.

Topo maps can be downloaded at
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/lasse ... width=full.

The maps are 8.5x11 so you can print them on your home printer (use photo paper for better quality). Scale is 1" = 1 mile.

This is the best time of the year to hike in the Lassen area -- crowds are gone and the first few hard frosts knock the mosquitoes down.
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