It was the dog’s turn. Our last few hikes were in Lassen Volcanic National Park where dogs aren’t permitted so we agreed to choose a dog-friendly trail on this day. The day started with a little surprise. It had been unseasonably hot and while we knew we were in for a break, we weren’t prepared to find snow on the pass as we drove toward the trailhead.
It seemed only appropriate that the first thing we saw was the largest snow plants I’ve ever seen. These registered 17″ using my hiking poles for perspective.
Upon closer inspection I thought they were the candycane or sugar stick variety. But alas just a striped variant.
I was hoping I’d find full fruit aka seed pods, but not quite yet.
One of the cool finds of the day. California Ground-cones just emerging. They are part of the broomrape family.
Views from our turnaround spot. What once was a forest of trees is now manzanita due to fire.
This section of the PCT will have to await until another day. It’s another 1.5 miles and 700′ to the Lassen Park boundary from here. We brought treats for PCT hikers but only met one. We heard there was another who passed through just before we arrived at the trailhead. Cool fact, this was where I provided my first trail magic way back in 2010ish.
We had views of Lassen Peak from our lunch spot. A colorful bird we both thought was a Tanager entertained us. My local birding friend confirmed they do visit Lassen. Cool!
I’ll just call it a lovely Lassen sunflower.
This section of the PCT parallels lovely Hat Creek, offering many opportunity to cool off or sit for spell.
It was a great day! I hiked 7.25 miles with nearly 800′ elevation gain/loss. My knee rehab is continuing to progress nicely. I can’t wait until I can hike for hours and hours but until then I’ll continue to focus on WHAT I CAN DO!
Other jaunts in Lassen National Forest: