09 November 2009

Devastated Area

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Locate the trailhead.

I drove around to the far side of the mountain the long way around because the road was closed through the park. The north side of the park doesn't have quite as many features to look at even though the road isn't closed until about 10 miles after the entrance station. It goes up to a parking lot in the Devastated Area, so called for having been destroyed in the most recent eruption. There is a picnic area and small loop with interpretive trail around the various lava rocks that came from the mountain when it blew.

Mt. Lassen about to get whiter.
The north side of the mountain and the land that was cleared by the 1915 eruptions.

Up along the trail there are many signs, most of which explain how rocks many thousand years old and rocks less that 100 years old were tossed and pushed by mudslide to this location where some of them took many days to cool. There is also a slightly better view of the Devastated Area although by this time the snow had started to fall obscuring the mountain.

A thin forest where a larger one once stood.
The Devastated Area is still a bit sparse of tree.

Before and after.
Most of the signs feature pictures of people standing near rocks that took days to cool while they were still cooling or otherwise photograph the nearby rocks, but this one gives a before and after view of the mountain where 'after' is before the trees started to try to grow back. The circle shows a bit of forest that was spared by the blast.

Rock from the volcano miles away.
One of the many rocks with a sign with a picture of it nearby. This one explained that some of the rocks were shattered by the eruption.

I got quite cold walking around the trail in the wind and the coming snow. I hadn't really noticed the snow falling until I got into the car and started driving in it. It was very light as yet and lightened to nearly nothing as I dropped in elevation. I stopped by Manzanita Lake on the way out of the park as the sun was setting (noticeable only by the darkening).

Manzanita Lake.
Manzanita Lake in the growing gloom of sunset while a light snowstorm starts to settle in.

Manzanita Lake.
More of Manzanita Lake.

Driving back to Quincy in the dark taking the A21 found more 'prescribed burn' area in the forest. Bonfires made of the cut wood were visible all along the road a few miles from the state highways at either end of the road.

©2009 Valerie Norton
Posted 15 November 2009
Updated 15 November 2009

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