I had been camping at Lassen NP on July 9th. Coming from the dry bay area, Red Bluff scared us (me & my husband) with the heat, but, Lassen was welcoming. High around 60 F and low around 40 F. Our main target was Lassen Peak, but heard we could not hike up that day due to high winds(around 40 knots @ 10500 ft abv sea level).
Trail to Kings creek falls was un-seeable (fully covered with snow). We were a lil upset as it was the most photogenic waterfalls.
But first, we had to look for a campsite. All campgrounds were open and some vacant too. So, we tried the North Summit Lake campground. We were lucky and found a site just facing the lake :) . We set up our tent, filled it with stuff (quite windy - 7000 ft).
The Ranger suggested Mill Creek Falls. With Lassen not in the itinerary for the day, we had nothing else to do. Mill creek falls trail was a beauty with a lot of wildflowers. We even crossed a creek. Lots of water. :) After a 1 hr hike, we could hear and then see the falls. Mostly shady, the trail was not very difficult.
We retired back early to our tent. Had dinner early. It became really windy and cold. Before hitting our sleeping bags, we made sure all scented stuff was in the bear cannisters :)
It was a cold night :( but managed to get some sleep. Next day, the sun was more confident in being around.
So, we got ready and reached the trailhead parking lot. quite a few people were there. We met a ranger who sd the trail was off and on on snow. Good that we had hiking poles :D (would have made it a lot worse without them)
And yes, it was a much better day to hike up Lassen Peak. There were some rangers on the trail trying to pave a new trail on the snow. (old ones eroded due to constant use)
After 2 hrs of some serious hiking, we reached the top of the crater. I could hardly see the crater. It was filled with snow. That's it. we were to the top. Thats what I thought.
Then, I saw some people continuing along the trail. I looked up to see a communication tower.
So, off we went. It was a short 10 min steep climb up to the tallest point on the peak. Then I saw what I would have missed if I had missed out this place.
The majestic Mt.Shasta stood there, high abv the clouds at 14000 ft. It was something!!!
After enjoying the place for quite a while, we felt the winds getting stronger and colder. Time to go! we started our way down. Was a lot easier. Maybe half the time as to go up. Met the same ranger on the way down and he told us that they had at least 1 snow shower every month.
Walking on the snow did tire us as a lot. Friction!!!
Lassen Peak was on my hit list and here, I made it.
I did not know how to upload pics from my desktop. If someone can help, I would.
I would highly recommend Lassen Peak to any hiking freak :) "On top of the world" feeling!!!