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Lassen Trip 2013

Day 3 of 4

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Monday, July 15th
Mills Creek Falls and Crumbaugh Lake

It stayed warmer during the night, and again people were up early talking, though not quite as early as the previous day. At least people didn't seem to stay up late talking. More people left the campground as I tried to decide which hike to take today. I considered Butte Lake to Snag Lake, but that would be about a 10 mile hike and I didn't think the kids were up to that today, especially since it was an hour drive each way -- that would make for a long day.

I eventually decided on a hike to Crumbaugh Lake. We drove the main park road again. One of the problems is that the main park road is winding and one lane in each direction, with not a lot of pull-outs (and definitely no passing anywhere). So if you get stuck behind someone towing a trailer doing 25mph in a 35mph zone, there's nothing to do but slow down. At least the views are great. I noticed that the huge Lassen Peak parking area was not surprisingly almost completely empty. There was also no building there anymore; I think there was a temporary building/snack bar there when I'd visited back in 1999.

Eventually, after about a 45-50 minute drive, we made it to the large Southwest campground parking lot next to the visitor's center, just inside the park entrance. We were there just in time to see a youth group meeting at the campground, and what looked to be a wedding ceremony getting prepped near the visitor's center.

We left the masses behind, hiking past Mills Creek Falls to Crumbaugh Lake.

We finished the hike at 4:50pm, which is important because the visitor's center (and snack bar inside) closes at 5pm. This left us just enough time to get ice cream before the drive back to camp. We obviously didn't get a chance to look at the visitor's center much, but it looked very new. It didn't occur to me until later that it occupied the space of the old Lassen Chalet, which I had visited on my trip in 1999. That old building was torn down in 2005 to make way for this brand spanking new visitor's center.

We made the long drive back to camp, arriving just after 6pm. After dinner, I noticed the camp host driving by. I mentioned to her that we were thinking of doing a hike the next day and would like to leave our stuff in camp until we were finished, a couple hours past check-out time. She made a note of it and said it would be fine (it probably helped that the camp was little more than half full now).

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