One of the most fabulous moments of my birthday motorcycle trip through Oregon and California was spending the morning of my actual birthday at 10,457 feet, having summitted Lassen Peak in Lassen Volcanic National Park!
We woke up early and hopped on Brian’s motorcycle to ride into the park from the southwestern entrance to the Lassen Peak trailhead. I haven’t ridden on the back of Brian’s bike in a long time, but I appreciated the opportunity to just enjoy the ride in and out of the park and not have to worry about my own driving, especially as I wasn’t sure how energized and focused I would feel after our hike!
There were a few cars at the trailhead when we arrived and one gentleman who set out just ahead of us. It was otherwise quiet as we climbed out of our motorcycle gear and into our hiking gear and set off on the 2.5-mile, 2,000-foot ascent to the summit.
Starting our hike at 8,500 feet meant we had incredible views for the duration of our hike.
The sun was already up, and we wound through shaded and sunny sections of rocky trail as we made our way up the switchbacks along the southern ledge of the volcano.
There was a bit of a false summit as we were nearing the top – we continued over that rise and came to the actual summit where we had to scramble up a rockpile to find the survey mark at 10,457 feet! We had made it!
The views were just spectacular – I was so grateful for the bright blue skies and the views of Mt. Shasta to the north. We were tracking the forest fires around Shasta, and I wasn’t sure if the smoke would impact our visibility. Thankfully it did not.
We drank some water and ate a snack while we sat on the rock pile with several others who had reached the summit, soaking it all in. A very nice couple near us offered to take our picture – maybe our first non-selfie summit shot ever!
This 5-mile hike ended up being easier than I had thought – while it was a lot of gain over a relatively short distance, the switchbacks and incredible views made it an enjoyable climb, and the summit views were some of the best we’ve experienced.
What an incredible way to celebrate another trip around the sun. If you have time to tackle Lassen Peak while you’re in the park, I highly recommend it!