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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Trip Report Lassen and Redwoods Trip Report

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I spent two days with my 11 year old nephew in Lassen National Park and two days in Redwoods National Park. I had two tickets on Southwest that were about to expire and was lucky enough to find a flight with availability. My daughter had surgery earlier in the summer and she decided that she didn’t want to try a trip just yet. This was only my nephews second time to fly and his first national park experience.

Lassen turned out to be a lot better than I thought it would be. We stayed two nights at Drakesbad. This is really about an hour away from the “main area” of the park. It was a little out of the way, but a very unique place to stay. The pool was heated by thermal features and temperature was usually around 102. You have an hour window opportunity to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We had prime rib one night and our choice of rack or lamb, or salmon the next. However, the chef ended up allowing everyone to pretty much taste everything. They also had a choice of corn dogs or fish sticks for kids, but most of the kids still had the prime rib and salmon. The food was surprisingly good. Breakfast had lox and bagels one morning and French toast the next. You also had an opportunity to order a sack lunch. Almost everyone that was a guest had been there previously for multiple visits. Two things really cracked me up. One was that they had a little gift shop that was unattended. You simply wrote down on a piece of paper if you bought anything. This included sweatshirts, sundries, etc. They had soda and water by the pool that had the same arrangement. You are not given a room key, as there is no locks on any of the doors. Our room did have a toilet and sink, but the shower was about ¼ mile away by the pool. Most of the rooms don’t have electricity. The temperature in the morning was about 55 and then each afternoon about 85.

We hiked Lassen Peak and it was fantastic and had great views. Also hiked Mills Creek Falls and Kings Creek Falls. Both were very good. We also rode horseback from Drakesbad to The Devils Kitchen. We did see a bear on our horse ride and another on the trail to Kings Creek Falls. Devils Kitchen did have several mudpots and steam vents. Sulphur Works area is right on the road and it wasn’t much. The thermal features don’t come anywhere near Yellowstone. There was still a ton of snow at the higher elevations.
Lassen doesn’t have much attendance and it wasn’t crowded. I would certainly go back and we enjoyed it.


For our next segment, we started out with tidepooling and visiting a couple of beaches at Patricks Point State Park. The park is about 15 minutes south of Praire Creek region of the Redwoods. Agate Beach and Palmers Point Beach were very nice. Good tidepooling at Palmers. Saw krill, a dead shark, starfish, mussels, etc. We hiked James Irvine/Fern Canyon/Gold Bluff Beach trails as one big hike about 13 miles long. Very big trees and Fern Canyon is just awesome. This was a cool and foggy hike with temps about 55 the entire day. This was my nephews first experience with the ocean. He said his favorite parts of the trip was hiking Mt. Lassen and seeing the ocean. We also saw many elk in the Prairie Creek area. Hiked almost 30 miles in 4 days. A couple of those hikes had a pretty big elevation gain and loss. I was surprised that he was so anxious to do all the hikes.

We did make one side trip to Burney Falls. This was a little out of the way, but very much worth the effort. It has to be the prettiest waterfall ever. Not better than some that I have seen, but I think it is the prettiest.


Link to my photos
http://www.photoworks.com/slideshow/album/AA620D239F57?c=pw59560&CS_003=4433951

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