Saturday, October 2, 2010

Lassen Volcanic National Park Field Trip


This fall I’m taking two classes: one is an Introduction to Geographic Information Systems at Diablo Valley College, and the other is a field studies class through Merritt College: Biol62H — Natural History of Lassen Volcanic National Park. This past weekend I went on the field trip portion of the natural history class to Lassen Volcanic National Park. I camped at Manzanita Lake Campground in the northwest corner of the park on Friday and Saturday nights in the “Tents Only” loop D.

Day One:
  1. We met at the Loomis Visitor’s Center/Museum at 8:30 am to check out the interpretive displays and watch a film about the park.
  2. Drove to the northeast section of the park and did the hike to Cinder Cone rim near Butte Lake.
  3. Later we did the Lily Pond Nature Trail with an additional walk around Reflection Lake.
Day Two:
  1. We met at the Manzanita Lake boat launch to do some bird watching but there was not too many birds out. We did see a Dipper (water ouzel), American Robin, a Stellar's Jay, Belted Kingfisher, and an immature Wood Duck.
  2. After, we drove to the Devastated Area to do the interpretive trail there, but it was closed for trail work.
  3. Met the trailhead for Lassen Peak (trail also under construction) for a short discussion about the flora/fauna/geology of Lassen Peak area.
  4. After we drove to the Bumpass Hell trailhead for a hike into Bumpass Hell, an active hydrothermal area.

A few volcanic fun facts I learned about Lassen on the trip:
  • Lassen Peak is one of the largest lava plug dome volcanoes in the world.
  • Currently, it is the last volcano to have erupted in California with major events happening from May 14, 1914 through May 22, 1915.
  • Lassen V. N. P. has examples of all four types of volcanoes: sheild—Prospect Peak, cinder cone—Cinder Cone, lava plug dome—Lassen Peak, and composite/stratovolcano—old Brokeoff/Tehama.
  • Cinder Cone National Monument and Lassen Peak National Monument were both established by Theodore Roosevelt on May 6, 1907.
  • After the eruption of Lassen Peak, Congress created Lassen Volcanic National Park in 1916.
A few common species of trees in the Lassen area that we identified:
  • Here is my GPS track map with photos at Everytrail:

1 comment:

  1. Rebecca, that photo is one amazing shot! Sounds like such an awesome trip...