Staying at a campground in Shingletown (strange name but believed derived from the logging activity in the area) we visited the Lessen Volcanic National Park. Due to the elevation of the park and the time of year there was only 9 miles of the scenic road open. It was a very hot day (i.e. temperatures were in the 80ºF) but snow was on the ground!
The area was that in May 1914 Lassen Peak erupted and continued for three years. On 22 May 1915 the peak blew a huge mushroom-shaped cloud of ash over 30,000 feet into the air and altered the surrounding area. Lessen Peak is one of many active, dormant or extinct volcanoes found around the Pacific Ocean in a “Ring of Fire”. The Lassen Peak was formed 27,000 years ago and is one of the world’s largest plug dome volcanoes, rising 2,000 feet to an elevation of 10,457 feet.
We were only able to see Hot Rock and the Devastated Area and brief glimpse of the Lassen Peak. The Hot Rock was a huge piece of molten rock blown from the volcano in 1915 and became quite a tourist attraction at the time.
After our short foray into the park we went and found the Subway Cave. The cave was not a cave but 1/3 mile long walk through the underground world of a lava tube. Although hot outside as you entered the tube the temperature dropped. It was a strange environment with only a flashlight as a guide. Not recommended for anyone who suffers from claustrophobia. Jenny wasn’t sure!