ADG Explores Lake Tahoe and Lassen Volcanic National Park!
Molly Mann, ADG’s Director of Social Media, Communications Expert, Customer Service Guru, and Star Wars Aficionado, recently traveled west to see three National Parks!
Why Explore Lassen Volcanic, Redwoods, and Crater Lake?
In the mid-2000s, ADG launched a mission to create poster art for every U.S. National Park. To date, our award-winning artists have handcrafted over 300 original illustrations and vintage-styled poster art of all 63 National Parks! When we created the collection, we also decided to see every National Park in person to gather reference photos and inspiration for future art.
A New Adventure, Every Day
As Molly, a true fan of late-20th-century pop culture and film might be heard saying, “One does not simply fly into Reno, Nevada without also visiting Lake Tahoe.” (Lord of the Rings reference, anyone?)
On June 15th, Molly’s plane landed in Reno, and she immediately set off towards Lassen Volcanic National Park by way of a leisurely visit to Lake Tahoe, which included a kayaking adventure on the lake and a pleasant grocery run and night's stay in the nearby town.
On June 16th, Molly headed off from Lake Tahoe and made her way to Lassen Volcanic, where she stayed the night and explored the park on the 17th and 18th, leaving on the 19th to venture off towards Redwoods National and State Parks.
We had a chance to sit down with Molly and interview her about her adventures, and the following is a snippet of that interview.
Lake Tahoe and Lassen Volcanic
ADG: What was it like visiting Lake Tahoe on your way to Lassen Volcanic? It’s such an iconic travel destination.
Molly: Lake Tahoe was dreamlike! The locals I spoke with said the water is the clearest in 40 or 50 years. I felt so blessed to be there!
ADG: Any tips for folks who are visiting Lake Tahoe?
Molly: Get out on the water. There are great hiking trails around the lake, but you don’t get the full experience unless you get ON the water. I rented a kayak and explored the lake. It was so clear I could see straight down to the bottom, and I couldn’t tell if the depth was 16ft or 60ft. That’s how clear it was.
ADG: Was the water cold?
Molly: Very! I stuck my feet in, but that was about it. It was quite frigid!
ADG: So you visited Lake Tahoe briefly, then headed to Lassen Volcanic. What was it like arriving in that part of California?
Molly: Everywhere I went was super remote. That aspect made everything feel like I was truly in the wilderness. I stayed in a cabin in a campground near Lassen, a tiny home, really. It had running water and a small kitchen, but it was rustic! I highly recommend that campground; it was just outside the park in Mill Creek, California.
ADG: Amazing. What did you do on your first day in Lassen?
Molly: I went to the visitors center right away (naturally). The weather was amazing, sunny, and in the 60s/70s. But even with the nice weather, there were large sections of the park I couldn’t get access to because the Park Service was still clearing the roads of unseasonably late snowfall. So I focused on what I could see and went to Sulfur Works on the park’s south side to watch the mud pots boiling and steaming. That was amazing. I also checked out Manzanita Lake and the Loomis Museum. Seeing a photographer’s depictions of the park in 1914 and 1915 was incredible, detailing the last time the volcanoes erupted.
ADG: Wild to think that the park was an active volcano not long ago! What did you do on the second day?
Molly: On day #2, I checked out the northeast part of the park and hiked to the Cinder Cone volcano. It last erupted in 1666, I think. I started at Butte Lake and ate lunch there. Then I hiked several miles to the base of Cinder Cone. I observed some incredible scenery along the way, like the Fantastic Lava Beds and the Painted Desert.
ADG: What stood out most about Lassen Volcanic National Park? What amazed you about it?
Molly: Lassen is like Yellowstone without the mayhem. It’s a mini-Yellowstone. It has four different types of volcanoes and is considered one of the most volcanically diverse regions in the world. Yet it gets a fraction of Yellowstone’s visitation, so you can enjoy it and immerse yourself in the park without feeling crowded by other tourists.
ADG: What do you think the best features of Lassen Volcanic are?
Molly: It’s just one of those parks with something to offer everyone. It’s got lakes, hiking, camping, wildlife, and volcanoes. You can even hike Lassen Peak, the tallest point in the park at 10,457 feet above sea level. The park has lots of cool educational opportunities too. There are rocks and remnants from different volcanoes all over the place, which is both educational and inspirational.
ADG: What was your favorite moment in the park? What was most inspirational to you?
Molly: The highlight for me was hiking to Cinder Cone. It’s amazing to me that I was hiking to an actual volcano! Wow. It was like being able to see history up close. This mountain was once very powerful, and now we have the opportunity to see that and be in awe of it without risking life and limb, as the volcano isn’t active anymore. Overall, Lassen was an experience that made me feel small and it humbled me. It was a powerful reminder of how big and amazing our world is.
ADG: What advice do you have for others visiting Lassen Volcanic?
Molly: Planning a park trip is always tricky because you never really know how much time you’ll need to see and do everything. And in western and high-elevation parks like Lassen, there are often weather considerations too, like the fact that the park still had snow in it, even in June!
My advice for Lassen and other parks is not to fill up your itinerary too much before you even get there. Use our Adventure Guide Book to plan just a few activities each day. By the time you get into the park, you might want to add more activities and, hopefully, you'll have time for them, if you didn’t ‘over budget’ your time. Give yourself an extra day if possible because you will want more time there!
Next week we catch up with Molly as she takes off from Lassen Volcanic and heads off to Redwoods National and State Parks!
Anderson Design Group Staff Writer