Considered most likely to erupt next in the Cascade Range, Lassen Peak (also called Mount Lassen) last erupted between 1914 and 1917. It is a type of volcano called a plug dome volcano. These are are formed by flows of thick, viscous lava that pile up around a vent. The flows themselves are not explosive, but they can cause an eruption when the lava cools and hardens, and pressure builds up from the molten lava inside the dome.
At a height of 10,457 ft., Lassen Peak is one of the largest plug dome volcanoes on earth. During its last eruption, a large explosion shattered the dome causing hot blocks of lava to fall from the peak, creating the Devastated Area. Heat from the molten rock beneath Mount Lassen drives Lassen Volcanic National Park’s many hydrothermal features. These include mud pots, boiling pools and steam and volcanic gas vents called fumaroles.
Today Lassen Peak is quiet, and scientists keep a close eye on it to assure the safety of the public. Visitors can hike to the top of Lassen Peak on a five-mile, three to five-hour trek that climbs 2,000 feet. The panoramic views from the summit are stunning, and well worth the effort it takes to get there. Winter offers many opportunities for playing in the snow, including a ranger-led snowshoe program.
The year-round star of Lassen Volcanic National Park, Lassen Peak is a majestic presence that beckons the visitor to stay a while, and to come back soon.
WHERE: Lassen Peak is located in the western part of Lassen Volcanic National Park. From Redding take Hwy 44 east about 48 miles to the Manzanita Lake entrance to the park, then head south on Hwy 89. Follow Hwy 89 for about 22 miles to the trailhead of the Lassen Peak trail. From the soutwestern entrance to the park, the trailhead is about 8 miles north along Hwy. 89 (google map)
MORE INFO: 530-595-4480 | www.nps.gov