Located at the northern end of Lassen Volcanic National Park, Cinder Cone awards incomparable scenery and geology for those willing to make the effort necessary to visit the remote site. There are many recreation opportunities near Cinder Crater, and each offers unusual glimpses into the volcanic nature of the Southern Cascade landscape.
This difficult path enables tourists to experience Cinder Cone Volcano's wonder. A leaflet is accessible at the park visitor centers and trailhead for the Cinder Cone Nature Trail. Numbered trail posts correspond to stops in this flyer explaining different trail characteristics.
At first, the sandy path rises softly, bordered on the right by woods and on the left by the lava flow of Cinder Cone known as the Fantastic Lava Beds. As Cinder Cone comes into sight, the path steepens. The path reaches a fork at Cinder Cone's base at 1.2 miles. Look here for the first opinions of the colorful Painted Dunes to your left (south). Be sure to take a break in the adjacent Jeffrey Pines ' shade before following the left (south) path and start the heart-pumping climb to the top of the cone. As the path circles gently around to the cone's southern side, Lassen Peak comes into perspective. The path then continues to the edge where views in all directions are rewarded to climbers. Prospect Peak, Lassen Peak, Snag Lake, Painted Dunes and the Fantastic Lava Beds are all obviously noticeable. A distinct path runs down Cinder Cone's crater.
A part of the Nobels Emigrant Trail follows the Cinder Cone path. This path was the second path that emigrants used to travel through what is now the Lassen Volcanic National Park after the path of Peter Lassen.
The parking area of Butte Lake is situated off the Butte Lake road in the park's north-eastern corner. The region of Butte Lake is accessed from highway 44, about 24 miles east of Lake Manzanita. The trailhead of the Cinder Cone is situated on the southwest side of the Butte Lake boat ramp.
If you are planning to camp then visit Manzanita Lake which is a big campground in Lassen Volcanic National Park, with a nearby store with a lot of amenities (soft serve ice cream ftw) and showers. We stayed in loop C, which had no problem in itself, we just had the misfortune to be behind a couple of families who were oblivious to the fact that their voices were not contained within walls (rant: they said no inappropriate words, just totally uncaring that their volume was entirely unsuited for post-10 pm conversations. Some people think that camping means you can let kids be as loud as they can. Gah!). Other than those jerks, other campers were quiet. We were close to the bathrooms, which has nice separate handicapped bathrooms, outside spigots, and a utility sink for dishes. You can rent kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards to go around the small lake. Sunset at the lake is also beautiful. The hike is on the harder side of moderate and will take you on average 3-5 hours to complete depending on your fitness level and prior hiking experience. The trail to the peak and back is only around 4.5 miles round trip, but the elevation gain to reach the peak is over 2000 feet over the course of ~2.3 miles. Additionally, the peak is over 10,000 feet so people who are prone to altitude sickness should be aware of this. There is a large and well marked parking lot at the Lassen Peak Trailhead which also includes four vault toilets stocked with hand sanitizer. The trail was crowded when we went on a Saturday during the same weekend as the Dark Sky Festival, but it was definitely still worth going despite the crowd. When you go wear layers since it can be chilly at the peak and also bring sunscreen since my friend got badly sunburned despite the overcast sky.
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