Lassen park, Mammoth Lakes, Pinnacles

Bumpass Hell with Frying Pan Spring in foreground Lassen Volcanic national park.

Approaching the start of the new year, and seeing friends and family – it’s the ideal opportunity to discuss family travel plans. As you interact over the holidays, plan a discussion of favorite trip destinations as well as hopes and dreams for travel in 2023. This column offers travel destinations within 3-4 hours by auto, suggesting several “one-tank vacations” that our state offers.

From San Joaquin County, let’s look north, to Lassen Volcanic National Park. Lassen Peak is part of the “Pacific ring of fire,“ a string of volcanoes surrounding the Pacific Ocean. Lassen formed about 27,000 years ago from a volcanic vent on the flank of Brokeoff volcano (which is about a half million years old), resulting in one of the world’s largest plug dome volcanoes, rising to 10,457 feet. From 1914 to 1917, a series of small to massive eruptions blasted huge boulders miles to the east off the volcano.

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