Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world, is joined by all three other types of volcanoes in this park: shield, cinder dome, and composite. Other than the volcano, which last erupted in 1915, the park has hydrothermal areas, including fumaroles, boiling pools, and steaming ground, heated by molten rock under the peak.
Gretel V. on Mill Creek Falls Trail
Great hike when the roads close down for the winter. Pack a picnic lunch to eat near the waterfall!
My boys (6, 8 and 9) completed this hike late in the summer - we camped overnight at Summit Lake the night before and hit the trail mid-morning. The hike was tough, as it is nothing more than a stack of switchbacks going up a 1:1 incline... A Ranger gave a brief history of the park, the volcano and associated volcanic activity at the top, including in his presentation photos and samples of various rocks found in the park. The kids really enjoyed the opportunity to learn. Views are great, trail is very exposed. Bring lots of water, a good wide brimmed hat and lots of sunscreen.
Finished this trail today. Pretty brutal. Combination of the snow and ash terrain made the ascent extremely difficult, but I did it. I thought the descent through the Bypass was also dicey, as the initial trail down was steep and was very rocky. So had to take it slow going down or else I would've slipped.
All in all, very challenging hike in the snow and can imagine it would still be challenging during other seasons. Would recommend if you're in the area!
Yep, 5 stars. Great trail, views, geology.
Big temperature drop from the trail head parking lot with the wind chill factor at the top. Great place to get this info is Air Sports Net at usairnet.com. It shows wind speed, direction, temp, windchill factor in a very user friendly format.
We did the Cluster Lakes Loop in a clockwise direction whereas most of the reviews I've seen do it the other way. The benefit of doing in clockwise is that you get the area burned in 2012 out of the way instead of ending your trip with it. We started at the parking lot of the Summit Lake Ranger Station and headed out. We went left at the Y and headed to the cluster. We passed Little Bear, Big Bear and Feather Lakes. The majority of this portion of the trip was downhill however, the gravely terrain made the going a bit more difficult. Our destination for the evening was Rainbow Lake so we came to Lower Twin Lake and stayed to the left. Rainbow Lake was beautiful. A bit too many mosquitoes for my liking in the evening but with a little repellent, it wasn't too bad. Next morning we headed back to the trail-head passing Lower Twin. Upper Twin and Echo Lakes. Since it was mostly downhill going in, it was mostly climbing coming back. The climb from Echo Lake up toward Summit Lake was at least moderate in difficulty. An easier trip would be to go to the right at the Y and bypass the burned out areas for now.
we went up the steep face & cane back via the "bypass" which is maybe the better way.
so the approach is lovely but note that it is like walking in sand and when you get to the cone ascent it changes from sand to deep pebbles (huff puff). keep going it's worth it. if you're in decent shape it's about a 20 min ascent. a couple we spoke with took their time and it was about 40 minutes to do the ascent.
really beautiful & interesting. if it's hot out - know it's fully exposed for the full ascent and at the top.
about 6 miles off road driving to get there - very doable in a regular car but dang dusty.
good alternative if weather or energy for the bigger hikes in area is lacking. good family hike with some nice vistas & reward of falls for a nice lunch spot. rolling terrain with some uneveness so light hiking shoes helpful
would love to do the full hike that ends at bumpass hell, but requires 2 cars.
Our first backpacking trip. We worked the trail counter-clockwise to avoid the business of Twin Lakes (and the apparent bear who'd set up shop). Gathered fresh water at Big Bear Lake and camped at Little Bear. The wind picked up in the middle of the night (which was a bit terrifying when surrounded by half-dead trees). The trail was pleasant and lakes enjoyable for swimming in the late summer heat. Definitely a trail we"ll re-visit.
This is where East Sulfur Creek and Bumpass Creek meet. Mill Creek falls has a 75' drop and is well worth the hike. If you need more work out, continue on the trail to Conrad Meadows and you will experience a mile long steep ascent guaranteed to get your heart pumping !!