Tour of Northern California
and Southern Oregon - Part 1
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讀萬卷書    行萬里路

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The magnificent Mount Shasta with peak elevation of 14,179 feet dominates the northern California landscape.
(Its peak elevation is comparable to that of Mt. Jade in Taiwan.) It is an active Stratovolcano. There are
fumaroles on the mountain, which show that Mount Shasta is still alive. In 1877, John Muir wrote a dramatic
popular article about an experience in which he survived an overnight blizzard on Mount Shasta by lying in the
hot sulfur springs found near the summit.

It was a gorgeous view of such majestic mountain as we drove north on I-5 to continue our tour. We stopped
on the roadside of I-5 to take these pictures of Mount Shasta.

Map: Click here for interactive Google Map showing location of Mount Shasta near Highway 5 in northern
Two more views of Mount Shasta as we were driving north on I-5.

In 1967 when I was a graduate student in University of California at Berkeley, I did visit the ski slope on Mount
Shasta. It was arranged by the International House of the University of California at Berkeley for foreign
students to tour the northern California including ski on Mount Shasta.
A portion of Lake Shasta also visible from I-5. It is the largest reservoir in California created by the Shasta
Dam on Sacramento River.

This photo of Lake Shasta was taken by May Lee.

A view of Shasta Dam and Shasta Lake above the dam can be seen at:

Another corner of Lake Shasta.
Winding road of Lassen Peak Highway (i.e., Highway 89) to drive up in Lassen Volcanic National Park with
gorgeous views along the way. Driving along this road, you are treated with some awesome scenery as you're
going up to over 8,000 ft elevations. If you love outdoor, this place is very picturesque.
Lassen Volcanic National Park is near the town of Mineral in northern California.

Map: Click here for a location map of Lassen Volcanic National Park

Map: Click here for interactive Google Map showing location of Lassen Volcanic National Park

Map: Click here for detailed park map of Lassen Volcanic National Park

In August, 2004, we got a rental car from San Francisco Airport and drove north along Interstate Highway 5
(I-5) to tour northern California. From Red Bluff on I-5, we drove east along Highway 36 into Lassen Volcanic
National Park.
Beautiful wildflowers everywhere in
Lassen Volcanic National Park in the
summer season.

These two photos of wildflowers are  
taken by May Lee
The visitors descend from the rim down the steep slope into the bottom of the bowl for closer views of various
volcanic features in Bumpass Hell. A prominent steam plume marks the site of Big Boiler, the largest fumarole
(steam and volcanic-gas vent) in the park. It is freaking fantastic.

This photo is taken by May Lee.
Warning Sign at Bumpass Hell on the danger in such active volcanic hydrothermal area. This 16-acre Bumpass
Hell is named after Kendall Vanhook Bumpass, a cowboy who worked in the Lassen area in the 1860s and
discovered this special area. However, Kendall Vanhook Bumpass lost one of his legs that broke through the
crust and into a boiling mud pot. Some other visitors who wondered off the boardwalk had also suffered
serious injuries.
So, boardwalk is provided for visitors to get closer views of various active volcanic features in this area.
Boiling and steaming muddy pool/spring in Bumpass Hell.

It is well known that the Pacific Ocean is surrounded by a “Ring of Fire.” About 50 % of volcanoes in the world
are concentrated in this ring of fire. The northern California and Oregon are parts of this ring of fire.

In this trip, we visited the volcanic region in Northern California and Oregon including volcanic Mt. Shasta,
Lassen Volcanic National Park, Lava Beds National Monument, Crater Lake National Park, Newberry National
Volcanic Monument, and John Day Fossil Beds National Monuments with spectacular Painted Hills.
This photo at Bumpass Hell is taken by May Lee.
This photo of thumping mudpot is taken by May Lee.
The Bumpass Hell at about 8,000-ft elevation in Lassen Volcanic National Park. This is the largest, most
extensive and famous volcanic hydrothermal area in this national park and is a must see! It is a 16-acre deep
bowl of  turbulent landscape of roaring, smoking fumaroles (steam and volcanic-gas vents), thumping mud
pots, boiling pools, sizzling “frying pans” (shallow, vigorously boiling pools of clear water), steam vents, pseudo-
geysers and steaming ground with sulfuric gas (the gas that makes rotten eggs smell). This photo is taken at
the rim of the 16-acre bowl and looking down into the bowl. It is a view from the rim at the end of the hiking
A picture of me (Sing Lin) on the boardwalk in Bumpass Hell. This photo is taken by May Lee.
Clear, green pool, at the east edge of the Bumpass Hell basin.
The 3-mile round-trip hiking trail on mountain slope between parking lot and Bumpass Hell at about 8,000 foot
The 3-mile round-trip hiking trail between parking lot and Bumpass Hell in August. It is rocky and narrow in
places with steep rocky slope on both sides. Elevation change is minimal in this 3-mile round trip hiking trail.
The round trip hiking takes about 2 hours.
Be advised that in most years, this trail, and hence Bumpass Hell at 8,000-foot elevation, is not accessible
until early July due to snow and ice coverage. Several visitors indicated that when they came in June, this trail
was closed due to snow and ice coverage.
The amazing sunset view with reflection of the pink Chaos Crags over the beautiful Manzanita Lake in
Lassen Volcanic National Park.

This photo is taken by May Lee.
美麗的 Manzanita Lake 是在 Lassen Volcanic National Park 中最知名的湖,他就在北

The beautiful Manzanita Lake near the junction of Hwy 89 and Hwy 44 near the north entrance of this
national park. It has a popular campground (just next to the visitor center and museum) on its banks
for boating, fishing, picnic, camping and RV's.
Fantastic sunset view of the pink Chaos Crags near Manzanita Lake. It is the youngest group of lava domes in
Lassen Volcanic National Park, California, having been formed as five pink dacite domes 1,100-1,000 years
ago and its peak elevation is at 8,503 ft. The cluster of domes is located north of Lassen Peak. From the base
of the crags and extending toward the northwest corner of the park is Chaos Jumbles, a cold rock avalanche
which undermined Chaos Crags' northwest slope 300 years ago. Riding on a cushion of compressed air, the
rock debris traveled at about 100 miles per hour (160 km/h), flattened the forest before it, and dammed
Manzanita Creek, forming Manzanita Lake.

This photo is taken by May Lee.
A chipmunk and a bird in Lassen Volcanic National Park. Despite the desolate looking scenery, wildlife abounds
here. Not only was this a great park to explore volcanic geology, but it was filled with plenty of wildlife. Lots of
wildlife like deers, black bears, bats, eagles and hawks.

This photos is taken by May Lee.
Gorgeous Lassen Peak at peak elevation of 10,457 feet is the crown jewel of this national park. Considered
the world's largest plug dome volcano, this plug dome rises 2,000 feet to an elevation of 10,457 feet.

For people in good shape, this 2,000-ft plug dome is a harder, steeper hike with a series of switchbacks for
which the hiker should probably allow 4-6 hours.  The top affords some spectacular views for hikers.

Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the few volcanic regions that has all four types of volcanoes - cinder
cone, composite, plug dome and shield. The most recent eruption was on May 14, 1915. The various peaks in
this national park were all part of a larger caldera, and all the types of volcanoes that exist can be seen in this
national park.

This photo is taken by May Lee.
The Lassen area is rich with lush forests and meadows, rushing mountain streams, soaring mountain vistas,
tranquil lakes, seasonal wildflowers and a wide variety of wildlife.

This photo is taken by May Lee.
Brokeoff Mountain is the second highest peak in Lassen Volcanic National Park. It was once part of a much
larger composite volcano or Stratovolcano, called Brokeoff Volcano, that towered 11,000 feet, or 1,000 feet
above the current Lassen Peak and looked similar to Mount Shasta about half million years ago. A combination
of continued hydrothermal activity and erosion, particularly by glaciers during ice ages, removed the central
cone of the volcano, leaving a large caldera. Brokeoff Mountain is one of several peaks of this remnants

A fantastic panorama from the summit of 9,235 foot Brokeoff Mountain can be seen at the following website:

One of two glacial blue lakes (Lake Halen and Emerald Lake) at the base of the Lassen Peak. There are
many beautiful and tranquil lakes all over Lassen Volcanic National Park!
This unusual big rock is near the parking lot at the beginning of the hiking trail between the parking lot and the
Bumpass Hell. This big rock may be carried by the ancient glacier to this location and position.

This photo is taken by May Lee.
Sulphur Works is the most easily accessed hydrothermal area in Lassen Volcanic National Park. It is on
Highway 89 only about 2 miles north of the South Entrance/Visitor Center of this national park. This place is
located about 30 yards from the parking lot and accessible via a boardwalk. It features boiling mudpots,
smoking fumaroles, steam vents and colorful sulfur water seeping up from the earth.

We toured only a portion of this large volcanic national park. There are still very large areas with many other  
interesting features that we did not cover in this trip, such as Little Hot Springs Valley, Boiling Springs Lake,
Devil's Kitchen, Mill Creek Falls, Kings Creek Falls, Burney Falls, Reflection Lake, Cinder Cone, Summit Lake,
Devastated Area & Chaos Jumbles, Butte lake, Painted Sand Dunes, Fart Gulch, Hot Rock, Puzzled Rocks,
Hot Creek, Cold Boiling Lake, etc.  We may have to come back again to tour these other areas and
interesting features.
However, climbing out of the deep bowl of Bumpass Hell to reach the hiking trail up on the rim of the bowl can
be challenging because (1) the air at 8,000-ft elevation is thin, (2) the air that you breath in Bumpass Hell is full
of sulfurous gas that smell like rotten eggs, (3) the slope of the bowl is quite steep for you to climb out and (4)
Some portion of the steep slope may be still covered in snow or slippery ice even in August. You need to
breath the thin air heavily to get enough oxygen to climb up the steep slope of the bowl, but the rotten-egg
smell of stinky air may choke you. You will not forget this special experience of climbing up and out of the
"HELL".  This photo is taken by May Lee.

In Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, I felt that I was over-saturated by too many volcanic geysers. Here
in Lassen Volcanic National Park and after climbing out of the Hell, I felt that was enough for the day for rotten
egg smell.
After descending from 8,000 ft elevation in Lassen Volcanic National Park down to the ground level, my half
empty water bottle was squashed like this due to the substantial difference in the air pressure.
The awesome Castle Crags visible from I-5 as we drove north on I-5 to continue our tour of northern California.
It is located at 20022 Castle Creek Rd., Castella, CA 96017. It is about 10 miles south of Mount Shasta. The
glacier-polished Castle Crags is 6,000-feet tall. Castle Crags reminds me of the Needles Mountain in South
Dakota as shown on my web page at:


More photos of magnificent Castle Crags can be seen at the following websites:


Map: Click here for interactive Google Map showing location of Castle Crags State Park
After seeing Shasta Lake, we drove northeast to tour Lava Beds National Monument. We began to see
(volcanic) cinder cones along the way. There are 20 cinder cones in lava beds national monument with
spectacular panoramic view on the top for hikers to enjoy. Frothy lava, cooled in the air, created the large
cinder cones throughout this national monument area.
One of 700 lava caves and countless lava tubes in Lava Beds National Monument. Lava flowing from Medicine
Lake volcano for 500,000 years has created 700 caves and countless lava tubes in this area.

When lava pours from a volcano it is hot, about 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. The outer edges and surface of the
flow cool rapidly, however, and begin to slow down and harden. This outside layer acts as an insulating material
while the rest of the flow downhill beneath it remains hot and fast-moving. The flow continues on, somewhat like
a river that keeps flowing even though the surface has frozen over. When the volcanic eruption stops and the
river of lava drains, a tunnel or tube (the outer shell) is left and becomes the lava tube that we see today.

Inside some of these lava cave tubes, the walls glitter with reflective bacteria. Some have bats. Brilliant green
ferns carpet Fern Cave in summer. In winter, ice sculptures form in Crystal Ice Cave. Twenty five of these lava
tube caves have marked entrances and developed trails for public access and exploration. Such extensive lava
tube caves, huge lava beds and other volcanic geologic features are very exciting for visitors to explore and to
A picture of me (Sing Lin) at Lava Beds National Monument. This photo is taken by May Lee.

The Visitor Center of Lava Beds National Monument is located at 1 Indian Well, Headquarters, Tulelake, CA
96134, Phone: (530) 667-8104. It is near Hill Rd (i.e., Rd 10).

Map: Click here for detailed park map of Lava Beds National Monument

Map: Click here for interactive Google Map showing location of Lava Beds National Monument

Lava Beds National Monument is geologically outstanding because of its great variety of "textbook" volcanic
formations including: lava tube caves; fumaroles; cinder cones; spatter cones; pit craters; hornitos; maars;
lava flows and volcanic fields.

Volcanic eruptions on the Medicine Lake Shield volcano have created an incredibly rugged landscape
punctuated by these many landforms of volcanism.
A picture of me (Sing Lin) inside one of
700 lava caves and countless lava tubes
in Lava Beds National Monument.

Lava Beds National Monument has the
largest concentration of lava tube caves
in North America. One has electrical
lighting, the others are illuminated by
ceiling collapse portals or require
flashlights, available to loan.

Lava tubes can lie atop one another, the
result of subsequent flows. Many of the
tubes here were formed about 30,000
years ago after an eruption at Mammoth
Crater on the southern boundary.

This photo is taken by May Lee.
The air here is so clear that you can see over 100 miles on many days. At a mile above sea level and 500'
above the Tule Lake Basin in the distance, the panoramic view from the Visitor Center of this national
monument spans over 30,000 acres of wilderness, sagebrush-covered lava plateaus and high desert
landscape. It is a spectacular place to photograph, explore, watch wildlife, or find solitude.

This photo is taken by May Lee.
Cinder cones are formed when magma is under great pressure. It is released in a fountain of lava, blown into
the air from a central vent. The lava cools as it falls, forming cinders that pile up around the vent. When the
pressure has been relieved, the rest of the lava flows from the base of the cone. Cinder cones typically only
erupt once.

Butte is a geological word for any land-form that sticks up abruptly, but cinder cone is a more descriptive
geological way of describing this landmark of the national monument.

Spatter cones are built out of thicker lava. The lava is thrown out of the vent and builds, layer by layer, to
become a chimney surrounding the vent. Fleener Chimneys and Black Crater are examples of spatter cones.
Mammoth Crater, on the southern boundary of the monument, erupted about 30,000 years ago. The tree at
the bottom of this crater is about 20 feet tall and shows the huge size of this volcanic crater. There was such a
tremendous outpouring of lava, that it covered the entire national monument from this crater to Tule Lake in the
north, forming most of the 700 known lava tube caves in this national monument.

About two-thirds of the basalt exposed in Lava Beds National Monument erupted from Mammoth Crater and
related vents, including Modoc Crater and Bearpaw Butte. The basaltic lava was transported out to the
northern and northeastern parts of the monument where Canby's cross, Captain Jack's Stronghold, and
Hospital Rock are located, via lava tubes. Where empty, these tubes form caves, such as Balcony, Boulevard,
Merrill, Skull, and Fern. The caves along Cave Loop Drive are located in lava tubes that transported basalt of
Mammoth Crater to the east, to Craig Cave and beyond.
One of 30 separate huge lava flows, lava beds in this national monument area. They are about 0.5 to 1 million
years old. After so many years, still practically nothing can grow well on these large areas of volcanic lava
beds. The vast areas covered by these lava beds are breathtaking.

This photo is taken by May Lee.
A closer view of the very rough texture of the lava beds.

There are primarily two kinds of basaltic lava flows: pahoehoe and 'A'a. Pahoehoe is smooth and ropy and is
the type most common in Lava Beds. Aa is formed when pahoehoe cools and loses some of its gases. Aa is
rough, sharp, and jagged; an excellent example is the Devils Homestead lava flow, which originated at
Fleener Chimneys.
The Modoc War - War in the Lava Beds - Captain Jack's Stronghold:

Lava Beds National Monument is a land of turmoil, not only from geological volcanic eruption viewpoint, but
also from historical human battle viewpoint. To the Modoc Indians, this place holds long memories of courage,
strength, and, ultimately, loss.

The winter of 1872-1873 was a troubled one with tragic events in the Lava Beds. The US army was trying to
capture and to force 60 Modoc native Indian to give up their native habitat in this area and to go to the Klamath

60 Modoc fighters were besieged by 600 US Army force in this area along the shores of Tule Lake known as
Captain Jack's Stronghold. Ancient lava flows had created an incredibly rugged landscape punctuated by
cinder cones, lava flows, spatter cones, lava tube caves and pit craters. The area has deep lava trenches and
dotted with small habitable caves, creating a natural fortification and a seemingly endless variety of places
through which one could move unnoticed. During the Modoc War of 1872-1873, the Modoc Indians used these
tortuous lava beds to their advantage. These 60 Modoc Indians resisted attempts to force them onto the
Klamath Reservation. Under their leadership of Captain Jack, these 60 intrepid warriors were able to use the
Captain Jack's Stronghold to fend off 600 U.S. soldiers for six months.

Visitors today can tour and explore “Captain Jack’s Stronghold” by following one of 12 hiking trails that cross
the high desert at Lava Beds National Monument.
One of many butterflies and many wildflowers in Lave Beds National Monument near Tule Lake National
Wildlife Refuge. Lava Beds is a land of surprising abundance. A constant display of wildflowers starts in early
spring with Carpet Phlox and Sage Marigold, and ends in fall with the golden landscape of flowering
rabbitbrush. Wildlife from beetles, lizards to mountain lions can be viewed by the patient (and lucky) visitor.

This photo is taken by May Lee.
There are many kinds of waterfowl in Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge on the north side of Lava Beds
National Monument.
There are many waterfowl in Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
There are many egrets and other waterfowl in Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
Many black birds in the marsh in Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
Petroglyph Point:

You step into the past when you view the carvings on the cliff at Petroglyph Point in Lava Beds National
Monument near Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge. This formation was created when a cinder cone erupted
from the floor of ancient Tule Lake to form an island. Early native people paddled out in boats to carve these
pictures into the soft rock.

Waves undercut the base of the cliff where the petroglyphs are carved. Wind, rain, and ice have enlarged
gas bubbles and faults, creating many cracks and crannies on the cliff wall which become natural nesting
sites for many birds. They are filled with barn owls, cliff swallows, hawks, prairie falcons, and many other
birds who find an abundant supply of food nearby.

This photo is taken by May Lee.
Rock Art at Lava Beds: Visitors can see an extensive collection of awe-inspiring pictographs and petroglyphs
throughout the Lava Beds landscape. Here are two small samples.
Many swallow nests on the cliff of Petroglyph Point.

This photo is taken by May Lee.
Farm field near Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The Tule Lake that we see today is only 13 % of the size
of the ancient Tule Lake. The ancient Tule Lake was drained to provide huge fertile land for farming.
At the end of the day of touring Lava Beds National Monument, we enjoyed the fantastic sunset view at Tule
Lake National Wildlife Refuge.
Another one of many bird nests on the cliff
of Petroglyph Point.

This photo is taken by May Lee.
This is Part 1 of our Tour of Northern California and Southern Oregon in August 2004.

Part 2 is about Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon and is at my web page at:


Parts 3 is about tour of southern Oregon and is at:


Part 4 is about tour of coastal areas of northern California and is at:

How I use information age technologies to enhance my enjoyment greatly of sightseeing large driving tour loop
of thousands of miles and of one to two weeks in duration covering many Points of Interest is described on my
web page at: