Hike The Devastated Area Trail In Northern California To See The Effects Of A Volcanic Eruption
It was 1915 the last time Lassen Peak in Northern California erupted. That may sound like a long time ago, but geologically speaking, it was actually pretty recent! There’s even video footage of the
historic volcanic eruption. The 1915 eruption left quite a mark on the surrounding landscape, and you can see it for yourself with a hike along the Devastated Area Trail in Lassen Volcanic National Park. This short, easy trail shows off the devastating effects of a volcanic eruption and it makes for a unique and educational outing!
It's easy to forget sometimes that Lassen Peak is actually an active volcano! The last time it erupted was over a century ago, but its effects left a definite mark on the surrounding landscape.
These effects are easily seen on the Devastated Area Interpretive Trail within Lassen Volcanic National Park. Although it may not look exactly "devastated" at first, the landscape still bears several reminders of Lassen Peak's last big eruption.
The Devastated Area Interpretive Trail is an easygoing walk through a forested area of the park. It offers pristine views of the east side of Lassen Peak and makes for a fantastic introduction to the park and the history behind this rich area.
At just a half-mile-long, this paved, wheelchair-accessible loop is more of a stroll than a hike. However, the information it has to offer is more than worth taking the time to explore it. Interpretive signs are placed all along the trail that describes the creation of the devastated area and remnants it left behind.
As you wander along the trail, you'll start to spot some strange-looking rocks in a variety of colors, from pink to stark black. Although we typically think of rocks as ancient, some of these rocks are actually relatively new. They were formed during the eruption of 1915, which makes them young whippersnappers in comparison to rocks in the area formed 27,000 years ago!
The Devastated Area is also easy to find. The parking area is located on the park road about 19 miles from the southwest entrance, or nearly 10 miles from the northwest entrance. You'll find the trailhead near the restrooms on the east side of the parking area.
Take a walk back in time and visit this unique trail the next time you're in Lassen Volcanic National Park. It's a great reminder of the long-lasting effects of volcanic eruptions and a fun way to spend an hour or two!
Did you know about this unique trail in Lassen Volcanic National Park? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
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Lassen Volcanic National Park, California, USA