Sometimes you just have to get out of your city! I knew nothing about Lassen National Park but was very excited to learn about it, especially since it wasn't too far from Berkeley (3.5 hours). I decided late the night before that I wanted to make this trip so I headed out bright and early the next day, without doing much research. Lesson learned! Who knew so many trails and roads would be closed off in May?!? Certainly not me :)
I was able to drive about a mile in after the Southwest Entrance to the park before the road was shut down. Saw the sulfur and took a nice walk up the closed road. Even spotted a bear on the way back down. (note: vehicle entrance fee is $20)
I will return to Lassen when there's less snow to make it to the Bumpass Pass, which I really wanted to see.
Since the Southwest Entrance didn't have as much excitement as I thought it would, I decided I should push on to the other side of the park. I drove outside the park through fields of nothing and teeny towns to arrive at the other entrance for Manzanita Lake. There was less snow and it was beautiful!
I still had time in the day and I wanted to see MORE! I was so close to Burney Falls and it had been on my bucket list for a while, so seized the moment and trucked on.
Burney Falls is a popular destination for families and camping so if you like to avoid crowds, I suggest you go early (which I didn't). Even with the groups of people all trying to get the best picture, the water full was truly breathtaking. (note: entrance fee is $8 per vehicle)
Don't just snap a photo and head out. There is a lovely one mile, lightly trafficked trail that will loop you around to some different angles of the falls and take you to some new scenery. Don't forget the bug spray though - the mosquitos were relentless.