This was our 2nd trip to Lassen National Park. This time, we camped at Summit Lake South, and did three hikes from there.
1. We arrived on June 29, and next day, we did the 11 mile loop trail covering Little Bear Lake, Big Bear Lake, Cluster Lake, Silver Lake, Feather Lake, Lower Twin Lake, Upper Twin Lake and Echo lake. The guide book we used says “Moderate” but it t was a hot day, and the large area between Little Bear Lake all the way up to Feather Lake was a burn area without much shade, so I was exhausted. Nonetheless, every turn we made, I was greeted by beautiful scenery. There were wild flowers blooming in the burned areas, and I heard many birds there, but we had a lot of distance to cover, so I didn’t stop to find them and take pictures.
- Summit Lake (near our campground)
- The view from the area near the beginning of the loop (0.9 mile from the trail head at Summit lake). –Lassen Peak and Reading peak.
- A pond. (no name?)
- Snow covered mountain through burned trees.
- Little Bear Lake
- Big Bear Lake
- Forest in recovery.
- Lassen Peak through burned trees at Silver Lake.
2. The following day, we were sore from the 11 mile hike, so we chose an easy hike to Cliff Lake. We started our hike near the Summit Lake Ranger Station, but I guess it is not a popular trail. It was totally quiet except for some birds chirping. Before reaching the lake, we walked through a beautiful meadow with a brook where I saw a Robin and a beautiful orange butterfly.
3. After packing up at Summit Lake South Campground, we did the Lassen Peak Hike. It is a 5 mile hike (round trip) with an elevation gain of 2000 feet. We made it by taking frequent breaks. I had to focus on walking, so I only took a picture before starting the hike, and at the summit.
4, After the Lassen Peak hike, we drove to Butte Lake Campground. It is a nice campground with plenty of space, but the water was very low, so didn’t feel like swimming at all. The following day, we did the Cinder Cone hike. It is a four mile hike with an elevation gain of 846 feet. It doesn’t sound that challenging, but the trail goes straight up without switch backs, so it was hard. My butt was sore for the next few days, but the view from the top was magnificent beyond words well worth all the effort.