HIGHWAY 5 NORTH
●LASSEN VOLCANIC NATIONAL PARK AND AREA
Fort Crook Museum 43030 Fort Crook Museum Rd., on Hwy. 299, in Fall River Mills. Free. Composed of a 3-story main building and eight outer buildings, this large complex displays six rooms of antique furniture, a collection of early farm implements and Native American artifacts, the old Fall River jail, a one-room schoolhouse from Pittville, a pioneer log cabin, and more.
McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park 24898 Hwy. 89, in Burney. Fee. A lovely 1-mile nature trail winds past the soothing rush of the 129-foot waterfall here (Theodore Roosevelt called it the eighth wonder of the world), allowing for closer inspection of the volcanic terrain for which this area is known. Shade offers cool respite on a warm afternoon, and picnic tables are available in a tree-sheltered area near the gift shop/snack bar. Paddleboats can be rented at man-made Lake Britton, where facilities include picnic tables, a sandy beach, and a wading area for children. Swimming is permitted only in designated areas, as the lake has a steep drop-off. Campsites and camping cabins are available.
A boat is needed to reach isolated Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park, which features one of the largest systems of freshwater springs in the world. Descendants of the Native American Ahjumawi tribe reside in the area. Twelve miles away, the town of Burney offers motels and supermarkets.
Spattercone Crest Trail ½ mi. W of Old Station, across from Hat Creek Campground. Free. This 2-mile, self-interpretive trail winds past a number of volcanic spatter cones, lava tubes, domes, and blowholes. It takes about 2 hours to walk and is most comfortably hiked in early morning or late afternoon.
Subway Cave 1 mi. N of Old Station, near junction of Hwys. 44 & 89. Free. No pets. Lava tubes formed here about 2,000 years ago, when the surface of a lava flow cooled and hardened while the liquid lava beneath the hard crust flowed away. This cave, which is actually a lava tube, winds for about 1/3 mile. Always a cool 46 degrees, it makes a good place to visit on a hot afternoon. However, it is completely unlighted inside, so visitors are advised to bring along a powerful flashlight. Allow time for a picnic in the lovely surrounding woods. Just north of here, Mt. Lassen starts showing up in your rearview mirror, and Mt. Shasta looms ahead.