Our tour of Lassen Volcanic National Park continues - with another hike up a mountain and more geothermal fun.
And a minor milestone in the current day - these pictures were taken on September 1, so I made it to September blogging before October ran out. Hoorah!
OK, back to Lassen and a climb up Brokeoff Mountain. This peak is in the chain of highpoints that were once part of a huge caldera. Not quite as high as Lassen Peak, but still with great views, and the trail starts quite a bit lower so the climb was a hefty one. I was grateful that my legs had recovered from Cowboy Tough and we motored on up the mountain.
This one has a woodsy start:
Past small creeks and a pretty pond:
Something happened to this poor tree, I'm not sure if we figured out what:
Nice view of Brokeoff Peak - we'll be climbing up the back side, thank goodness:
Lovely trail through the shrubbery. And it's still hazy down lower, another good day to get above the smoke clouds:
View up the back of Brokeoff:
This was a pretty spectacular finish to the trail. You're just hiking along these big switchbacks thinking you still have a ways to go, then all of a sudden you're almost at the top. With an unexpected view dropping down to the left:
We could see the form of the ancient caldera, now that we knew what to look for (with Lassen Peak in the background):
I liked the shape of the shadows:
We had the peak to ourselves initially, then some nice people showed up behind us. Two separate parties and both had ties to Chico (and all recommended the Sierra Nevada brewery tour, thank you for that!).
One guy offered to take our picture as we were sitting looking out over the landscape - much appreciated:
On the descent, more mountain flowers:
Driving back, we stopped at the "Sulphur Works", a geothermal feature that was used as a source of sulphur and also an inn/steambath house:
Back to the land of steam, heat, and crazy colors:
One of the larger bubbling pools in the park:
This one is accessible from the road so lots of people can see it, very cool:
Boiling, bubbling mud:
That is just not normal:
We climbed up the short (but steep!) trail from there to Ridge Lakes, very nice:
I love all the tall trees:
Another glimpse at the "hot creek" on the way down:
Next up, it was time to get off the main road and explore the further corners of the park.