Drakesbad area (Lassen N.P.) – 10-26-20

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bobcat
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Drakesbad area (Lassen N.P.) – 10-26-20

Post by bobcat » November 3rd, 2020, 1:11 pm

My wife grew up in Plumas County, California, so we did the annual drive to visit various family members who still live in the area, practicing COVID protocols as well as we could. I got permission to take a day off from kinship events and went up to Lassen for about a 10-mile wander to some of the thermal features in the Drakesbad area, just north of Chester.

It was 17 degrees at the Warner Valley Trailhead, but they haven’t had any precipitation since May. In a couple of places, the trail was icy from seeps. I passed by the biggest incense cedar that I’ve ever seen. My first destination was Boiling Springs Lake, off of the PCT, which has vents and bubbling mud holes creating various melodies around its shore.

Massive incense cedar, Pacific Crest Trail, Lassen Volcanic National Park.jpg
Steam rising, Boiling Springs Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park.jpg
Closeup of vents, Boiling Springs Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park.jpg
Lassen Peak and Bumpass Mountain from Boiling Springs Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park.jpg

Then it was on to Terminal Geyser, which isn’t a geyser at all but a spring that flows over a steam hole, constantly sending up a tall plume. In the ‘60s and again in the ‘70s, a geothermal prospecting bore was sunk 4,000 feet into the mantle here, but the apparatus had since been decommissioned.

Terminal Geyser, Lassen Volcanic National Park.jpg
Rising plume, Terminal Geyser, Lassen Volcanic National Park.jpg

I looped back on the PCT, passing through a vast mule’s ear meadow that must look stunning in the summer.

Mule's ear meadow, Pacific Crest Trail, Lassen Volcanic National Park.jpg
View east from the Pacific Crest Trail, Lassen Volcanic National Park.jpg

Then I took another trail across expansive meadows to the Devils Kitchen, where the steam vents and bubbling waters are extremely acidic and actually corrode the talus rocks. It’s summer almost all year long here, no matter what the outside temperatures, as the snow quickly melts off even when there are several feet in the surrounding forest.

Boardwalk, Drakesbad Meadow, Lassen Volcanic National Park.jpg
Hot Springs Creek, Devils Kitchen, Lassen Volcanic National Park.jpg
Talus steaming, Devils Kitchen, Lassen Volcanic National Park.jpg
Hot pool, Devils Kitchen, Lassen Volcanic National Park.jpg
Brimstone pool, Devils Kitchen, Lassen Volcanic National Park.jpg

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mjirving
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Re: Drakesbad area (Lassen N.P.) – 10-26-20

Post by mjirving » November 5th, 2020, 6:33 am

Cool. I’m looking forward to hiking through the park next year on my multi-year thru hike of the PCT.

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drm
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Re: Drakesbad area (Lassen N.P.) – 10-26-20

Post by drm » November 5th, 2020, 8:28 am

bobcat wrote:
November 3rd, 2020, 1:11 pm
It was 17 degrees . . .
mjirving wrote:Cool
Yep.

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