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Chaos Crags

Lassen Volcanic National Park. Sept 3 - 6, 2004.




(top, down) Saturday morning  we went to the Loomis Museum and then hiked the Lily Pond Nature Trail across the road from the museum. The trail starts along the north side of Reflection Lake, then turns north, makes a loop through the forest and ends back at the road (see map).

The campground was full for Labor Day weekend, but it didn't seem too noisy or too crowded. The only crowds were at the little store, but that ice cream sure tasted good on a warm afternoon.

Chaos Crags is the remnant of three plug-dome volcanoes (current elevation 8530 ft). About 300 years ago a giant rockslide spread a massive load of pink dacite rocks from Chaos Crags creating Chaos Jumbles, a devastated area of 1 square mile (see map).

In the afternoon we hiked the trail to Crags Lake at the base of Chaos Crags (3.6 miles, 700 ft elevation).  The trail starts out along Manzanita Ck, then turns east. Most of the way the trail is in the dense forest next to the devastated area (see map).

Jim and trees with staghorn lichens

(top, down) .

Jim and trees with staghorn lichens


Devastated area

(top, down) In the 300 years since the rockslide the Chaos Jumbles devastated area has revegetated to some extent, but the Dwarf Forest is still sparse and stunted in this area. Table Mountain is visible in the background. (Panorama - composite of 2 photos.)

Devastated area



Bruce at Chaos Crags

(top, down) (photo by Jim).

Bruce at Chaos Crags



Chaos Crags

(top, down) The trail ends at the base of Chaos Crags. Chaos Lake was entirely dried up. (Panorama - composite of 3 photos.)

Chaos Crags


(top, down) Saturday night we had some great beers,  Jim & Betty cooked a great chicken fajita dinner and then we had a campfire until bedtime. (Note to myself: DUMMY! Since no campfire pictures were taken, you missed a chance to learn whether they would have worked or not. Point and SHOOT!!)


(Advance to Kings1)