Before Lassen Volcanic National Park received its national park designation, it was two separate national monuments — Lassen Peak National Monument and Cinder Cone National Monument. Lassen Peak happens to be located in Shasta County (go figure), but Cinder Cone is located in Lassen County, as are several remarkable volcanic features created by it.
Cinder Cone is believed to have been formed around 1650. This kind of volcano is formed when gas-charged lava is violently ejected high in the air from a single vent. The lava is blown apart into small bits that solidify in the air, and fall back to earth as cinders called scoria, forming a circular or oval cone as they accumulate.
Lava flows then erupted from the base of Cinder Cone, creating the Fantastic Lava Beds. These flows dammed the creeks they encountered, and created Butte Lake and Snag Lake, both noted now for their fishing. Butte Lake is fed by water from Snag Lake that seeps through the lava beds. There is a hiking trail around Snag Lake that runs along the lava beds.
WHERE: Lassen County portion of Lassen Volcanic National Park. From Susanville take Hwy 36 west to Hwy 44 and follow it for another 35 miles. Turn left onto Butte Lake Rd., a seasonal maintained dirt road, and follow it about 4 miles to the park. (google map)
MORE INFO: 530-595-4480 | www.nps.gov/lavo