California has many famous natural landmarks people by the millions love to visit every year, including Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and the Big Sur coast. But comparatively few people know about a geological wonder where the earth boils and bubbles and a landscape as unusual, fascinating and volatile as any in California has been created. Lassen Volcanic National Park has lakes, streams and lovely forests and its own ten-thousand foot volcano suitable for hiking, if you come prepared. What Lassen typically doesn’t have are crowds. Even people who live in California tend to forget about this southernmost outpost of the Cascade Mountains. From Lassen northward into Oregon and Washington, the Cascades are crowned by iconic volcanic peaks such as Shasta, Hood, St. Helens and Rainier. Until Mount St. Helens exploded in 1980 (we’ll include a video and notes about our visit there in the near future), the most significant recent volcanic activity in the Cascades took place on Lassen Peak less than a hundred years ago. Lassen’s early twentieth century eruptions were caught on film and their geological stories can be read in the rocks strewn on and around the mountain. No one knows when and if Lassen might spring to life again, but it’s a reminder that California’s complex and beautiful topography has been shaped by powerful geological forces at work beneath our feet. California is still under construction and nature’s perpetual labor is more visible in Lassen Park than just about anywhere else. All we know is that someday Mother Nature will change the scenery. See it before she does.