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Alert: Summer 2010 - The Lassen Park Association and California Civil Corp are putting $500,000 into improvements for the trail over the next couple of years and the trail will be closed intermittently. In order to claim this Earthcache as a find you must climb to the top of the peak. The whole idea of this Earthcache is to experience the view and the geology from the top of the mountain. Please observe the trail closures.
The view from the top of Lassen Peak is one of the best, accessible vistas in Northern California and should be required climbing for all geology students. Until the 1980 eruption of Mt St Helens, Lassen was the last volcano to erupt in the lower 48 states.
Lassen Volcanic National Park (visit link) is an undiscovered gem that forms the southern tip of the Cascade mountain range. Lassen became a National Park in 1916 due to the significance of its active volcanic landscape and is a compact laboratory of volcanic phenomena and associated thermal features. The western part of the Park is dominated by Lassen Peak, great lava pinnacles, seething sulfur vents, and glaciated valleys. The eastern part consists of a forested volcanic plateau, smaller volcanoes, and is studded with lakes. The southern part consists of the steep, forested Warner Valley and features several more areas of hot springs, mudpots and fumaroles.
Once you have made it to the top, look around. Explore the summit area. Enjoy being on top of the World. You will find remnants of several craters from the most recent series of eruptions. There are four main types of volcanoes. All four types are visible from where you stand.
Your assignment to claim this Earthcache (visit link) is to match at least one of the peaks visible from the summit with each of the following:
Strato-volcano or Composite Volcano – This is the classic conical-shaped Cascade Range style of volcano. They are built of alternating layers of hard Andesitic lava and loose, explosive volcanic debris. Because Andesitic lava is moderately fluid, it flows only shorter distances. Therefore, Strato-volcanoes have steep slopes and can attain heights of greater than 14,000 feet. It can take millions of years to form such huge volcanoes.
Shield Volcano – This is the typical Hawaiian type volcano. They derive their name from their convex rounded shape like a Roman shield. They are built of many layers of fluid, black basalt over thousands or millions of years that yield the characteristic gentle slopes. Geologic features commonly associated with Shield Volcanoes include summit caldera craters and lava tubes.
Cinder Cone – This type of volcano is formed by explosive, gaseous eruptions. The frothy, gas-laced vesicular fragments of lava harden in the air as they are erupted and pile up around the vent like a giant ant hill. The height of a Cinder Cone is typically less than 1,000 feet and they are built quickly over a few years to tens of years. Because of the porous nature of the “cinders” this type of volcano is practically immune to the attack of erosion, because water soaks in rather than runs off.
Plug or Lava Dome – This type of volcano is formed when thick, pasty lava is forced up from its volcanic vent like squeezing a tube of toothpaste. The lava then merely cools and hardens in place. The resulting volcanic dome has very steep slopes surrounded by loose volcanic debris or tallus. Plug Domes are remarkable for their rapid growth. They typically require less than a decade to attain the size of a full-fledge mountain. Because of their very nature, a Plug Dome usually has no further eruptive activity and do not have summit craters, but there are notable exceptions.
For additional information on the four types, (visit link) .
-Volcano Type- - - - - - - -Peak Name-
Strato- or Composite
Plug or Lava Dome
E-mail your answers to BootyBuddies42@yahoo.com. Do not post the answers in your log. In addition, to guard against any arm-chair mountaineers/geologists, please post a photo with your log of your group at the summit with your GPSr.
The trail to the top of Lassen Peak begins from a large parking area at the near the summit of the Lassen Park road near Mile Marker 22. The trail is 2.5 miles long (5 miles roundtrip) and steadily ascends 2,000 feet by a series of switchbacks. Although persons of all ages have climbed Lassen Peak, it is not generally recommended for children under 4 or adults past 70. Experienced hikers will find it a comparatively easy hike, but many geocachers and other weekend warriors will find it fairly strenuous. Here are some tips to ensure a peak experience:
• Allow enough time. A round trip takes about four hours for the average person.
• Be prepared. Take plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, a hat, and a windbreaker. Wear hiking boots or other sturdy, comfortable shoes.
• Stay on the trail. Do not shortcut the trail, because it is a hazard to you and other hikers below, causes erosion and damages the natural resources.
• Tread lightly. Take nothing but memories and photographs. It is illegal to collect rocks, feed the critters or damage natural features in National Parks.
• Watch the weather. The barren slopes of the peak make hikers vulnerable to sudden changes in weather including high winds and thunderstorms. It is best to turn back in the face of adverse weather conditions.
• Bring a map. In order to identify and match the volcano types and names in the field it will be helpful to bring a topographic map (visit link) , park brochure or GPSr with topo map software. There are also trail leaflets available at the trailhead that will help you with your quest.
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Last Updated: on 11/15/2017 3:26:56 PM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (11:26 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum