Most people don’t know that Medicine Lake Volcano is the largest volcano (by volume) in the Cascade Range. A shield volcano, rising 3,900 feet above the Modoc Plateau to an elevation of 7,795 feet, it was formed gradually by lava flows from several small, gentle eruptions. Medicine Lake fills the caldera in the summit area of the volcano and provides great fishing, camping, hiking, boating, and swimming in the summer months.
Several rim volcanoes, including Mt. Hoffman, Medicine Mountain, Badger Peak, Grouse Hill, Red Shale Butte, Glass Mountain, and Lyons Peak now surround the lake. Of these, Glass Mountain is the most impressive. Named for the smooth, black, glass-like obsidian flow that covers the mountainside, it’s where Native Americans used to “shop” for sharp stones for tool and weapon making. Please note that, as with all historic and pre-historic artifacts on public lands, law prohibits removing any obsidian in the Medicine Lake area.
WHERE: From Weed, head south on I-5 CA-89 for 38 miles to Harris Spring Rd/Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway. From there, take Medicine Lake Rd, 35 miles to the lake. (google map)
MORE INFO: 530-233-5811 | www.fs.usda.gov