New Panoramas of Mount Shasta and Mount Lassen

(February 29, 2008)

The volcanic northeast corner of California is one of my favorite camping and hiking destinations. I swing through every year in the fall with my field class and often tarry a day or more on my way north to Canada in the summer. Over the last two years I have taken a number of new panoramas scattered around these two guidebooks, and now finally have them posted to the site.

Early summer of 2006 I explored upstream along the upper Klamath River, east of the Interstate 5 crossing - new country to me. Some beautiful landscapes, and of especial interest because of the controversy over two hydroelectric dams that block salmon and steelhead migration. We may well see the removal of Iron Gate Dam in the next decade. Restoration of the fishery would be wonderful, though we would also lose these beautiful high desert reservoirs.

Upstream even further I had a look at the Klamath Wildlife Refuges and the agricultural town of Tulelake, center of the upper Klamath basin water crisis in dry years.

On my way to Canada in August 2006 I spent most of a day documenting the very complete and interesting company town of McCloud, just a few miles east of Interstate 5 on the south slopes of Mount Shasta. Controversy here, too, over a proposed huge bottling plant for natural spring water.

Lassen Volcanic National Park is a gem, but a difficult one to visit because the road is blocked with snow for so long into the summer. My wife and I made a long weekend camping trip there in late July 2006 and I filled in some of the major sights.

Manzanita Lake is the classic postcard view of Mount Lassen. Lake Helen records some of the heaviest snowfall in the world, and true-to-form was still frozen the last day of July. We didn't have time to hike to Bumpass Hell (my panos of which are very old and need to be replaced), but the Sulphur Works is a smaller version, and right on the main road.

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