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Lassen Peak Trail

Stand atop an active volcano with the largest lava dome on Earth


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Lassen Peak, also called Mount Lassen, is an active volcano in within the Lassen Volcanic National Park in the Southern Cascade Range, located in the Shasta Cascade region of Northern California. The peak belongs to the so-called Cascade Volcanic Arc, which stretches from British Columbia to California. Towering above the Sacramento Valley, Lassen Peak has an elevation of 3,187 m (10,457 ft). It has a prominent lava dome with a volume of 2.5 cubic km (0.6 cubic mi), the largest on the planet.

Lassen Peak can be reached by a 4-km (2.5-mi) trail that starts at the parking lot on the northern side of the California State Route 89 not far from Old Station, California. The trail has moderate traffic and is rated as difficult. Due to heavy snowfalls in winter and spring, the path is best to be used from mid-June until September.

The trail head is located near the parking lot of the Lassen National Park, by the shores of Lake Helen, opening an impressive view of the mountain. The ascent to the summit of Lassen Peak is steep and exhausting with 600 m (1,967 ft) of elevation gain and no place to hide from direct sunlight. But spectacular views are rewarding. It takes about 4 km (2.5 mi) to get to the top. Climbing this prominent active volcano is an experience that will be remembered for ages.

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