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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > TR Lassen National Park trip March 2018

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Buzzcut1

Norcal

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Posted: 04/02/18 09:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So like many of my trips Planning is fairly non existent outside of choosing a date and possible activities.

This trip would be no exception to the rule. Mother Nature has ways of saying you can't go there at this time of year. Our original thought was the Sierras between Tahoe and Yosemite for camping and snowshoeing .

Then this Winter storm thing called a pineapple express/ atmospheric river happened and took dead aim at where we wanted to go. They got 10 feet of snow in two days with an icy layer mid pack. Extreme avalanche danger we took a pass

This is Carson Spur on hwy 88 two days before we were going to leave

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Plan B The storm was much less of an issue to the north so we looked there. That was Wednesday night. Hey I han'd been to Lassen since the early 1980s and Corey had never been there. NPS website said we could camp in the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center at the SW corner of the park in an RV during the winter. Decision made.

The initial forecast was for 18" of snow an temps in the single digits so we drained our water systems, added insulation to the windows and skylights, grabbed a 3rd propane tank to take along and added some down comforters to the beds.

My snow gear

The essentials: decent set of snow shoes, Adjustable poles with snow baskets, Gortex/leather boots, Ice spikes ( for icy conditions in the backcountry and to keep you from falling on your ass in the icy parking lot) In my packpack I carry 65oz of fluid to drink (gatoraid) a bunch of food, Space blanket, Bivy sack, first aid kit, shovel. GMRS radio, extra clothing layers

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Friday after work We met at the local Market to stock up and hit the road.

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We made it about half way to Lassen before being up since 4 am caught up with me and and we pulled in for the night at the Denigan Rest area on I5 just north of the 505 junction. Safe spot, Sheriffs came and went all night. Its is noisy as all get out as you are less than 100' from the highway. Thankfully my wife keeps a stash of earplugs to deaden the drone of my snoring and I raided them. don't leave home without some.

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Saturday morning we headed out and fueled up in Red Bluff and headed up hwy 36 towards Lassen.

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we hit rain then snow before we hit the left turn onto 89 into the park and we switched into 4wd until we hit the park. 89 is closed between the northern and southern visitor centers in winter but it is open to the southern Visitor Center from 36 and the northern Visitor center from 44. the only camping is at the southern VC.

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Camping in your TC is in the Visitor Center parking lot for $10 ($5 if you are over 62) and they ask that you park in the center pull throughs in the lot so that the morning snowplow can clear the rest of the area. One cool thing is that the visitor center has two sets of front doors. after closing for the night the outer set is left unlocked so that campers may use the centers restrooms. They also leave the wifi on so you do have internet access. We did all of our excursions from the Visitor center

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Day one saw us hitting the trails as the storm from started to move in. we pretty much just marched in other folks snowshoe tracks and that was fairly easy. We were out for about 4 hours

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This is an active Volcano

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boiling mud pot

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"Danger Will Robinson Danger"

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We got back to the Visitor Center in the late afternoon. The Temperature dropped and we got hailed on

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then it got dark and started to snow

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it got chilly but not as cold as predicted

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we got about 4" in the parking lot at 6500' out on the trail it was close to 14" of fresh powder

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The last of Saturdays footprints

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Down Jackets, Goretex pants and gaitors and warm base layers were needed. out of the 5 and 1/2 hours we we out there breaking trail we saw no other Humans until we were within a mile of the visitor Center on or return leg

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Corey breaking trail. this is really hard work and slowed us way down. still it was fun as all get out despite being hard work

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Solitude

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The Road Not Taken
BY ROBERT FROST
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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Mt Lassen off in the distance

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Unfortunately in every trip there comes a time to turn around and head for home

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It off and on snowed on us driving down hwy 32 to Chico

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Small Hail

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Fuel is available 30 miles west or east of the park boundary but I would advise you to fill up before heading up from the valley in case of power failures in a storm.

If you go count on being self reliant on the trails. carry food, emergency shelters, shovels water GPS, Flashlight. first aid kit etc be prepared to deal with things on your own if the brown stuff hits the fan.

We had a blast, it was well worth the 5 hour drive each way from the bay area. I will say this our legs were fried after 4 hours of snowshoeing on Saturday and 5.5 hours on Sunday. Our legs were cramping up on the drive home and we had to stop 3 times just to stretch and walk them out.

if you want to see all of our trip photos click on this link

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2062832187067114&type=1&l=a38648a987

* This post was edited 04/02/18 10:19pm by Buzzcut1 *


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jimh425

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Posted: 04/02/18 10:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice trip report again. Lots of good pics, too.


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Area13

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Posted: 04/03/18 04:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sweet lookin way to spend the weekend! Great report and pics.


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Clarryhill

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Posted: 04/03/18 05:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gorgeous weekend romp, Eric. Appreciate you taking us along. You got some great shots of some fabulous country. The legs comments are not surprising. Snowshoes are great, but those puppies make you earn your fun[emoticon][emoticon]


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billyray50

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Posted: 04/03/18 06:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great trip report and pictures! Thanks.

zb39

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Posted: 04/03/18 06:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

AWESOME pics, VERY nice! Thanks for posting this write up.


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emcvay

Moses Lake WA

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Posted: 04/03/18 07:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great report. Thanks!

Now I just HAVE to hit the road Friday! But we're planning just an hour + away.


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GpnAZ

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Posted: 04/03/18 07:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice trip report, enjoyed the beautiful snow pics and narrative, especially on all the equipment you used, looked like it was quite the adventure!


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mike/kellie

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Posted: 04/03/18 07:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Eric, it's always fun to follow your trip reports plus we get the reminders to re-pack seasonally for our adventures. What we pack away for that fishing trip with kayaks on highway 395 won't work for Lassen.
A columnist that writes for our local paper enjoys playing a word game with her readers. It's called "you're old if you remember". Do you remember the ski lift that ran just across the parking lot? It was for a bunny slope and used to draw a bit of a crowd. I think the poles are still in the ground.


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Buzzcut1

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Posted: 04/03/18 08:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mike/kellie wrote:

Eric, it's always fun to follow your trip reports plus we get the reminders to re-pack seasonally for our adventures. What we pack away for that fishing trip with kayaks on highway 395 won't work for Lassen.
A columnist that writes for our local paper enjoys playing a word game with her readers. It's called "you're old if you remember". Do you remember the ski lift that ran just across the parking lot? It was for a bunny slope and used to draw a bit of a crowd. I think the poles are still in the ground.


The day after we got home I had to strip out all the camping gear then load up my medical gear and running stuff to head out and work a medial Standby at a horse show ( went running after work). This Sunday when I got home from that I stripped all my gear out, mounted the 48" super truss and hitch ball and the loaded up all of Ruth's horse show competition gear. She leaves with the rig, horse and trailer for Rancho Murietta Equestrian Center in an hour or so. I am always changing the gear on board.

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