The path to Chaos Crags at Lassen Volcanic National Park #TBT

Chaos Crags trail at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Photo by Clay Duda.

After moving to Redding, California in September 2013, this hike to Chaos Crags in Lassen Volcanic National Park offered my wife and I our first real dose the stunning beauty Northern California is known for. According to this old Word document I found, we undertook this hike in late October, 2013, a couple of years before I launched this little travel blog. So here it is, my first and possibly only #TBT (Throw Back Thursday) post of a hike from yesteryear:

One last hurrah at Burney Falls

Burney Falls. Photo by Clay Duda.

My wife and I are moving to Tennessee in two weeks. More on that soon, but before we truck our stuff back out of Northern California we knew we had to have one last hurrah with some close friends out of Reno. So Friday night after work we headed for Burney Falls. It’s a place President Theodore Roosevelt once called “the Eighth Wonder of the World,” and I can see why.

Where the Sacramento River bends

Melissa and Peaches on the Sacramento River near Red Bluff, CA. Photo by Clay Duda.

It’s finally started feeling a bit like winter here in Northern California, and it only took until April to get here. Recent storms left a smattering of snow on mountain peaks around the North Valley and brought in a wave of cooler temperatures.

Hoping not to freeze our asses off overnight, wifey and I turned to the valley floor for a weekend hike-in get away. (Ok, I consider it a get away, she considers it a long walk that will keep the hubs happy and hopefully amount to some quality time. I can live with that.)

Out to pasture on Table Mountain

Cows at Table Mountain. Photo by Clay Duda.
I’m still not sure if it were the cows or the people put out to pasture at Table Mountain. Probably both.

If you’re trying to make it to the waterfalls on Table Mountain you may want to stick to the trails.

That sounds like a “no shit” piece of advice, but it’s easier said than done inside the expanses of the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve near Oroville, California. The roughly 3,300-acre refuge maintained by the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife does have some trail segments, but many cut through ravines and other passes before fading away into open grassland and pastures in the Sierra foothills.

Butte Lake to Cinder Cone

Clay Duda on top of Cinder Cone.
Selfie! That’s me on top of Cinder Cone in Lassen Volcanic National Park. Butte Lake and “The Fantastic Lava Beds” can be seen in the background.

Treks into the woods are often hallmarked by the animals you encounter, from a majestic buck strolling along a ridge line at sunset to a mama black bear and her cub rambling down to the lake’s edge. But I’ll always remember this recent trek into a remote stretch of the Sierra Nevada Cascade Range for the animals we didn’t see.