Cinder Cone Trail, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

By RON LIZZI - GoOutsideBook.com

 

 

Here are twelve photos from the Cinder Cone Trail in the Butte Lake area (northeast corner) of California's Lassen Volcanic National Park.

 

While many hikers are drawn to the Lassen Peak Trail, I find this trail more rewarding. The scenery is outstanding, varied, and unique, making this trail one of my favorites anywhere.

 

The hike is 4.0 miles (6.4 kilometers) round trip with an elevation gain of 846 feet (258 meters), but the numbers are deceptive. The trail up the 750-foot (229-meter) high cinder cone consists of loose cinders, so it requires much more exertion than a path on a hard surface. The steep hike down the cinder cone often amounts to a controlled slide, which requires some care.

 

These photos are from a hike in the early morning, which seems to be the best time for photography.

 

 

Cinder Cone Trail 1 - Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

 

Wall of lava rocks near the beginning of the trail

 

 

 

Cinder Cone Trail 2 - Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

 

Cinder Cone, which erupted around 1650 AD

 

 

 

Cinder Cone Trail 3 - Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

 

Cinder Cone and the trail to the summit

 

 

 

Cinder Cone Trail 4 - Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

 

Isolated tree on the Cinder Cone slope

 

 

 

Cinder Cone Trail 5 - Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

 

Lassen Peak (10,457 feet / 3,187 meters), about 10 miles (16 kilometers) away, comes into view as Cinder Cone is ascended

 

 

 

Cinder Cone Trail 6 - Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

 

Slender pines at Cinder Cone summit

 

 

 

Cinder Cone Trail 7 - Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

 

Lassen Peak and Cinder Cone summit

 

 

 

Cinder Cone Trail 8 - Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

 

Cinder Cone summit and Snag Lake

 

 

 

Cinder Cone Trail 9 - Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

 

Flag tree at Cinder Cone summit with the Fantastic Lava Beds and Butte Lake below

 

 

 

Cinder Cone Trail 10 - Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

 

Painted Dunes and the Fantastic Lava Beds

 

 

 

Cinder Cone Trail 11 - Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

 

Painted Dunes

 

 

 

Cinder Cone Trail 12 - Lassen Volcanic National Park, California

 

Lassen Peak and the Painted Dunes

 

 

More California photos:

Photo of the Borrego Badlands at sunrise in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California

Photo of the President, a giant sequoia, in Sequoia National Park, California