Monday, November 24, 2008

Day 12: South of Burney to Lassen National Park Southwest Campground

a. 7315’ gain, 56 miles Night spent at ~3600’ elevation
b. Camped in Lassen National Park Southwest Walk-in Campground at the southern entrance to the park, near the visitor center.
c. Food: There are small shops at the north and south entrance to Lassen NP, but these were already closed for the season when we were there. Otherwise, no services today.
d. Road info: The first stretch was 20 miles of high quality dirt. Then 4 miles of paved highway 44/89 with a little traffic. Then on paved 89 through the park. When we were there in October there was very little traffic on 89 inside the park. Commercial vehicles are not permitted in the park so there were no large trucks.
e. Water availability: Park entrance stations and campgrounds within Lassen NP.
f. Miscellaneous Notes:
i. We didn’t quite follow Andreas’ route from Burney to highway 89. After turning from highway 299 onto Tamarack Road, we stayed on the primary southbound dirt road (what Google calls Tamarack Road) all the way to the Jacks Backbone area (~13 miles), rather than following Andreas’ route turning eastward at ~3800’ on to FR24 and 23 and 22. We rejoined his routing at about elevation 4880’ where FR34N19 joins Tamarack Road. Then, we crossed the high point and started heading down, using the same route Andreas used. But we stayed on FR16 SE all the way to the highway rather than turning SW at ~6040 feet. (Note that Google calls the route we took 17 even though it is called 16 on the ground and on the USFS map.) In summary, we stayed on the major fairly direct dirt road, rather than taking the lesser roads that Andreas recommended.
ii. FR17 is an alternative to the paved road in Lassen National Park. 17 runs from highway 44 south to highway 36. The road through the NP does not allow commercial vehicles and the stated speed-limit is 35. However it has no shoulder, and during the peak summer season can have lots of traffic. FR17 is west of Lassen Peak, outside the National Park. It is clearly shown on the Lassen NF map, highlighted in yellow as part of the “California Backcountry Discovery Trail”. The 17 Road has areas where the view is all across the valley to the Coast Range, whereas 89 thru the Park is more interesting geologically. 17 is through managed timber lands, whereas the forests inside the National Park are not harvested.

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