Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lassen


Zac and I camped near Warner Valley last week for a couple nights for work. Luckily, we were able to hit up Lassen National Park in the afternoon...and this time it was open! Perfect weather, too.
We hiked up to Lassen Peak (a little more than 10,000 feet). Good stuff. Unfortunately, no pikas were sighted which I was a little bummed about but it was still a fun time. There were two Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels (Norm's cousins) at the peak. I watched them dig up some of their food caches- peanuts, almonds and a freaking red M&M. Yup. I'm hoping no one actually fed that to the them, that it was dropped out of some trail mix and they gathered it up and cached it. But, I can't lie...this little guy does look pretty damn cute.
(above: the melting snow and ice made for some weird textures!)
Anyway, still a lot of snow on the trail as you can see. There was one particular spot that was a pretty insane drop-off that was mildly nerve-wracking to walk on. See the drop below, but that hardly does it justice.
The rocks below - prime Pika habitat but we didn't spot 'em. We were also there in the middle of the day, so they were likely hunkering down. Below that is the King of Lassen Peak.
I found a few areas that had some succulents like the one below. Didn't see many, but I always enjoy them.
There seemed to be a good number of people at the park, but luckily most of them turned out to be kinda lazy tourists, so the trail wasn't as crowded as I thought it might have been. I really can't stand crowded trails, so this was comforting. Zac loves hiking uphill, can't you tell!? My World

35 comments:

AVCr8teur said...

What a view! It's hard to believe it's summer from up there. You are probably the first person that have proof that squirrels do like M&Ms. :D

Harold Stiver said...

That looks like a great place to explore. Sorry to hear about the lack of Pikas, I had heard they were getting scarce in some places due to warmer temperatures. Lets hope that's not the case.

Woody said...

The red M&M looks like a a bow-tie, what a cutie. The scenes are great and I like all the different textures of the snow.

Pam said...

Well that was a really 'cool hike to say the least, Jill. The views are breathtaking from up there.
Thanks for the magnificent journey, I enjoyed it immensely and never would have made it with out ya!

Michael said...

My head for heights is not good. Love those cousins of Norm.

Martha (MM) said...

Oh wow, absolutely amazing place and awesome photography as always - just gorgeous!

Clytie said...

I've always wanted to go to Lassen - I even found some old brochures from there I received when I was a teenager! What a wonderful beautiful place.

P.S. - the squirrel with the red m&m looks like he's munching on a heart!

May I use this picture for Guest Heart Thursday sometime?
clytie-randomhearts.blogspot.com

lisaschaos said...

What a gorgeous area! I prefer less crowded trails too, seems easier to enjoy nature that way. LOVE your little squirrel!!

Phil said...

Jill that sun looks ok but I dont really fancy snow in July even though that looks a fantastic place to be.

Carolyn Ford said...

Such gorgeous scenery and that little squirrel is over the top adorable. How cute with the red m&m, but, I, too, hope it wasn't intentionally given to him. What a view!

Sylvia K said...

Absolutely gorgeous place! And your photos are superb as always! And, yes, you probably are the only one to have concrete evidence that squirrels love M&Ms! Have a great week, Jill!

Sylvia

Carver said...

Great shots from the trail. I wouldn't mind a little snow to break the summer heat where I live.

noel said...

aloha,

this was a very nice tour of the lassen, one of my favorite areas, i love this trail you took and that amazing azure colored lake

help me decide on a photo from my garden fanatic blog, if you don't mind?

Barb said...

Hi Jill, Wonderful views! I liked that the succulents were taking advantage of the sun to bloom up high were there is still snow. That red M&M really pops, but (like you) I wish the squirrel wasn't enjoying it. Chocolate is dangerous for some animals.

Xavi said...

Very funny squirrel!
But I like the other pictures too.
Have a nice day.

jason said...

What a beautiful place. Looks like you and Z had plenty to enjoy. Oh, and the squirrel with the M&M: total cuteness!

Rambling Woods said...

You seem to have cornered the market on cute here...the M & M is strange... What a beautiful place to hike and I would be one of the lazy tourists ...@:}...Michelle

Lara Neusiedler said...

amazing! in our world conquered by summer at its best, to see snow is a special thing! thanks for sharing!

Marites said...

such an amazingly beautiful place and those cuties are the real survivors. You're lucky to be able to visit that place. Great shots too.

BraCom (Bram) said...

Nice series, have a wonderful week

Bram

Seen on My Wold Tuesday

Jenn said...

I've never hiked in snow before. That is one amazing trail and to repeat everyone else, that squirell is adorable! Looks like a really fun hike.

cat said...

Such grand views! The M&M eating squirrel is a little sweetie :)
Cuteness definetly runs in Norm's family tree.

Lily Hydrangea said...

that is really cute! I'd love to know if he actually liked the red dye & sugar - he may have just sampled it & then spit it out.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

So refreshing to view these snow images as HOT as it has been here in KY the past 2 months. That little squirrel with the M&M is adorable,just way too cute. The scenery is breath taking Jill~

Bonnie Bonsai said...

Thanks heaven that yours is set on a Pop Up Window Comment setting. I feel frustrated not being able to leave comments to others. I am about to give up and you give me hope. I seldom join because I am home all the time -

I am so thrilled looking at the plethora of activities in your end up on the norhtpole.

So much to learn, so much to see.

Kathiesbirds said...

Never heard of this park before. It looks inviting! Love the ground squirrel with the M&M, though I do know it is not good for it! I can only imagine what the little creature was thinking as it bit into that sweet dark heart of that bright red button! I have succulents planted in my yard but the bunnies are eating them like cabbage! Poor things are all but dead except for the one I surrouned with fencing! I would have loved to see a pika. Haven't seen one since I hiked n Rocky Mountain National Park many years ago.

Sherri said...

Beautiful pictures! What amazing views! And yes I too would be pretty freaked by that drop off! Thanks for sharing these gorgeous photos! Sherri : )

veredit said...

What a wonderful trip with beautiful pictures from a grandiose landscape. I think you are a magician, that the squirrels love you so.

Hugs from
isabella

LadyFi said...

Wow - such magnificent views. The air seems to clear and sharp. Lovely.

Love Bears All Things said...

How lucky to have a job like that where you can see such beauty.
I bet that M&M is a peanut one.
Mama Bear

Linda said...

What a wonderful hike and your photos are gorgeous!Norm's cousin is adorable!

Ann said...

Wonderful hike. And the squirrel followed you the entire time?

ksdoolittle said...

That was a lovely hike and I'm glad I joined you! I like it when I don't see ANY people on the trails or beaches. ~karen

Light and Voices said...

Squirrels like M&M's....how cute is that?
Joyce M

Out walking the dog said...

Wow. Fantastic journey. And I do adore the squirrel with the M&M.