Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Mill Creek Falls Trail ↔ Lassen Volcanic National Park


Today, we're hiking the Mill Creek Falls Trail in Lassen Volcanic National Park...on a full moon!

california hiking trails

What could go wrong???


Let's go on an adventure!



We arrived really early, so the sun was just coming up over the mountains.



The terrain is a little rocky in places and pretty steep. (At least it felt like that to this newbie anyway!)


And there's the waterfall!


There I am on the bridge...



Mill Creek Falls is the highest waterfall in the park with a drop of 75 feet.





If you continue on past the waterfall and over the bridge a little ways, you'll come to a few small waterfalls that were totally worth the few extra steps.


I could write a book set in this magical little spot. It was like something out of a fairytale.


There are views of Brokeoff Mountain and Mt. Diller on this hike, too.




The trail is 3.8 miles round trip and according to Lassen's website takes 2-2.5 hrs. We arrived at 6:30 in the a.m. (and didn't see a single person on the trail the entire time) and finally finished at 11:30. It took us 5 hours! Yes, we did take some extra time to get some tripod footage and photos, but we were surprised to return to the car so late.

I'll admit, this trail kicked my butt...and then regrouped and kicked it again. The way there was fine, although there were a lot of rises and falls like it says in the pamphlet. What I didn't expect was running out of gas on the way back when it seemed like the whole way was uphill.


Maybe it was the altitude, maybe it was sheer exhaustion, or maybe it was that darned full moon, but I couldn't get enough air and thought I might not make it back up.


Hubby was a trooper and took on both packs, including all of the camera gear, and literally pushed me up the trail in a few places. I wanted to be strong and fearless, but my out-of-shape body just couldn't handle the climb. I guess that's why this trail has a 3 out of 4 difficulty rating. (In my defense, we hiked the Kings Creek Falls trail last week--a 2--and I loved it and was a champ the whole entire way.) I'm glad we didn't run into anyone else on the trail or else they might have called it in and had me airlifted out of the park! Medic!!!

From now on, we're sticking to the 1's and 2's until I can Wonder Woman myself up and down any trail around. I'll get there, I promise. This is, after all, a journey. I'm still a beginner at this hiking thing and I will get better and lighter and stronger. Someday we will hike the 5 miles up Lassen Peak (with an elevation change of 1957) and it's going to feel great.

According to his complicated rating system, hubby gives this trail 2 tacos and one beer. 🌮🌮🍺
I give it a difficulty rating of 5 New Boot Goofin' out of 5. 👢👢👢👢👢


Here's the link to the trail info on Lassen's website if you want to take a stab at it for yourself. Hats off to anyone who can hike this trail without breaking a sweat.

I'll be back for you, Lassen. You haven't seen the last of me!


Here's the video from our hike:





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