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Lassen Volcanic

Old Apr 26th, 2012, 09:06 AM
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Lassen Volcanic

Greetings - DH and I will be in Chico for a wedding just before 4th of July. We noticed that Lassen Volcanic Natl Park is about 70 miles away, so we thought we'd drive up for three days right before the 4th. A few questions:
What kind of weather can we expect July 1 4?
Are there moderately easy trails for someone with a recent hip replacement to hike?
We're not campers and like a nice king bed - any recommendations? We checked out hte places on the web site and the Best Western in Chester looks nice.
What are your favorite experiences at the park? Favorite trails or animals you've seen?
How long a drive is it from Chico up to Chester?
How far is it from the park down to Sacramento (where we're flying out)?
Other recommendations? Things to do?
Thanks!
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Old Apr 26th, 2012, 09:22 AM
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"What kind of weather can we expect July 1 4?"

Most likely <red>HOT</red>, but it could be nice.

"Are there moderately easy trails for someone with a recent hip replacement to hike?"

While there are some quite strenuous hikes, there is plenty to fill a couple of days w/ easier access

http://www.nps.gov/lavo/planyourvisit/accessibility.htm

I definitely suggest you also take a jaunt up to Burney Falls,

http://tinyurl.com/d4aednp

From Lassen to SMF is about a 3 hour drive, a little less from Chester to SMF.
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Old Apr 26th, 2012, 12:38 PM
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Because of the elevation in the park, the temperatures shouldn't be too bad in July, certainly cooler than in Chico I am not sure about Chester though - I don't know the elevation there.

For easy hikes:

Manzanita Lake - There is a very level trail around the lake, which is a nice walk. You can drive right up to the lake itself, so the walk is just around the lake, not to the lake. There is a good picnic area there.

Cold Boiling Lake - This is a hike to the lake, and a nice easy walk through the woods, I don't even think it is a mile to the lake. Crumbaugh Lake is on the same trail if you want something a little longer.

Bumpass Hell - This is an really popular area of the park where you can see the geological features that the park is known for. The hike isn't strenuous, but there are some up and down hills. I am not sure how much a relpaced hip can do, but if your husband is up to it, this is a really neat area.

Non-hiking recommendations:

Lake Helen has a good picnic area that we like a lot. Lake Helen is very blue and Emerald Lake very green (bet you could have guessed) and it is neat to see them together.

You should definitely drive all the way through the park - stop at sulfur works for sure. There are some neat meadows along the drive through the park and in July you should have wildflowers. Very pretty.

Wildlife - the usual suspects - deer, squirrels, raccoons, birds, etc.
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 11:45 AM
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Thank you so much November_Moon and JanisJ. I appreciate your responses and will do them all if four days/three nights allow.
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 12:10 PM
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To be perfectly honest Lassen is my least favorite volcanic National Park. Crater Lake is my favorite of the volcanic parks.
With 3 days I would try for the jewel of Oregon instead of the cinder pile of California.
For a cool place in California, try the Lake Shasta Caverns.
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 12:41 PM
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We absolutely loved Lassen.
We loved Crater Lake too. Crater Lake is more Wow Factor for that initial shock and awe moment, but I think there is a lot more to do at Lassen. My nephew and I were there around August 1 with tons of snow still there. I guess it would possible to be hot, but I can't imagine it being to bad.

Lassen is one of those off the radar places that doesn't get that crowded.

We stayed at Drakesbad. I've stayed at many National Park lodges and this one is very different. They didn't even have locks on the doors to the rooms. Almost every single guest was a repeat visitor. Meals are included in your stay. It is a bit out of the way for some areas of the park. We did a horse ride with them, and you might want to consider that if you can't get around to much.

Here is a link to our photos. my nephew was 11 at the time.
http://share.shutterfly.com/action/w...0IatW7FqybsWUf

Notice the wildflowers in first 5 or 6 photos. They go on forever up the hill-amazing.
We did a couple of hikes to some nice waterfalls. We did hike Lassen Peak.
Picture 25 and 26 and 36 is of frozen Lake Helen-right on the side of the road. Picture 45 and 46 are photos of a bear we met while hiking. Picture 24 is of the swimming pool which is heated by the thermal features. Temp varies between 100-110 depending on how much heat underground is producing for that day.

Photo 58-62 is of Burney Falls. YOu might consider it too. The rest of the photos are of Redwoods National Park/Coast.

I say go for it. It isn't a crowded park, so that makes it all the better.
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 12:49 PM
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You have a choice of a couple of entrees at dinner at Drakesbad. With my nephew and other kids, the chef would sometimes bring them out the kids protion and an adult portion too. Lunch was usually just sandwiches, fruit, etc. Breakfast was a buffet.
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 12:50 PM
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They would offer you about as much to eat as you wanted. They encouraged you to ask for more if you wanted it, or if you wanted to try something different.
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 12:55 PM
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By hot -I meant at the lower elevations and in Chester. Up at the higher elevations - even w/ snow still on the ground, which may not happen this year, it will be warm, not blazing hot.

In Redding/Red Bluff/Chico it can (but might not be) well over 100F, in Chester likely in the high 80's (which will feel warmer)
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 12:58 PM
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Since you said July 4--I have no idea of how crowded it might be for that period though.
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 01:04 PM
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"With 3 days I would try for the jewel of Oregon instead of the cinder pile of California."

That is plain silly. There is so much more to see/do at Lassen. Crater Lake is very pretty, that's for sure. But for interesting things there and nearby -- not so much.
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 01:10 PM
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oh janis, you emphasized hot--you even had it in bold red.

http://www.nps.gov/lavo/planyourvisit/weather.htm

I think you could expect cool to cold nights and then warm by afternoons. You will notice that even on Lassen Peak that my nephew had his shirt off(not sure it was actually hot or if he was just thinking he was being cool-no pun related towards weather-that was some serious elevation gain, so he probably was working up a sweat). Certainly it is possible to be hot, but I don't think you would be very uncomfortable. If you aren't hiking a peak, most of the trails have shade. Again we were there in August. The highs average for June is 79 and you are going to be there on July 1.

If you click on the snow depth for this year, there has to be a mistake as one day will have 174 inches and then next 298. So, I don't know how accurate that chart is.
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 01:12 PM
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3 out of the last 6 years the road hasn't been opened by July 4.

http://www.nps.gov/lavo/planyourvisi...ing-update.htm
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 01:15 PM
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BTW, This would have been August 2010--a pretty good snow year for them.
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 04:36 PM
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I love Lassen too - definitely a great place to go. And because it is sort of off the radar, it won't be crowded, even on a holiday weekend. There will be people there, but not a ton.
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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 05:34 PM
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Just came across this place near Lassen - check it out:

http://www.stbernardlodge.com/rooms.php
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