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Lassen Backpacking

 August 8-14 Ages 13-14  

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Camp drop off is at 9 am on Monday and pick up is 4pm on Sunday. Drop off and pick up is at Julius Kahn Playground, Presidio Park, Address: 3395 - 3699 W Pacific Ave., San Francisco, CA 94118
Day 1: Monday — Drive to Lassen

Today we meet at Julius Kahn playground in San Francisco, where we play name games and icebreakers as we get to know our fellow backpackers for the week. Once we are acquainted with one another, we head out to the stunning landscape of Lassen Volcanic National Park.

We will be staying at Summit Lake campground for the next two nights, and after we arrive we have the chance to get to know each other a bit better by playing cards, games, and swimming in the lake. Tonight we have a campfire and discuss the exciting week ahead!

Lesson: Leave No Trace Camping, Leadership, Cooking
Camping Location: Summit Lake Campground

Day 2: Tuesday — Mt. Lassen Peak Ascent

After an early wake up and big breakfast to fuel us for the day, we set out for our adventure! Today we will summit Lassen Peak, one of the largest "Plug Dome" volcanoes in the world!

Our hike will mostly be above tree line through open scree fields and rocky slopes. The hike to the peak is challenging, but definitely a rewarding trek that bonds us together as a group. As we look over stunning views of Brokeoff Mountain and other surrounding peaks, and volcanoes in the park, we celebrate the hard work our day has brought us! This hike is a great warm up for our backpacking expedition, which begins tomorrow.

Tonight our leaders prepare us for tomorrow's backpacking trip. They show us everything we need to know to prepare for a successful trip out into the wild!

Lessons: Topo Map Skills, Intro to Lassen Geology
Camping Location: Summit Lake Campground

Day 3: Wednesday — Day 1 Backpacking- Summit Lake to Rainbow Lake

This morning we break down camp, pack, and head out to begin our backpacking journey. Whether we are pro backpackers or this is the first time out on the trails, our leaders show us the tricks and tools we need to have a successful and fun backpacking trip.

Today's hike takes us out to Rainbow Lake. This is a 5-mile hike, offering serene views along the way. Throughout the day, we stop for water, snacks, and hiking games. It is a fun day on the trails, but we are happy to finally find beautiful Rainbow Lake, our camping destination for the night.

After we arrive at this lovely lake, we set up camp. Our leaders teach us important backpacking skills such as campsite selection in the backcountry, how to keep animals out of our food, and other essential things for a good night in the backcountry. We create a group kitchen, where we dive in to help craft a wonderful dinner after our day of hiking.

Lessons: Topo Map Skills, Lassen Natural History
Camping Location: Rainbow Lake

Day 4: Thursday — Day 2 Backpacking- Day Hike to Cinder Cone/Swimming

We wake up in the peaceful serenity of the wilderness, and after we eat breakfast, we take the morning to explore the amazing areas nearby. We are close to the Cinder Cone and the "Fantastic Lava Beds" and today we'll explore these sites and learn about the different types of volcanoes that exist in this park.

After our morning of exploring, we head back to our base camp at Rainbow Lake, where we have the chance to go for a dip in the lake and cool off! After our swim, we'll cook and enjoy a much-deserved meal.

Lessons: Lassen Geology, Leadership
Camping Location: Rainbow Lake

Day 5: Friday — Day 3 Backpacking: Rainbow Lake to Warner Valley Campground

This morning we break camp and begin our 10-mile hike to Warner Valley Campground. This will be our longest day of backpacking, but our destination will be an incredible reward! When we arrive at Warner Valley Campground, we are greeted with running water, barbeque grills, and the chance to swim in the hot spring fed pool at Drakesbad guest ranch, which is right next to our campground. The water is the perfect temperature to relax in after our days of hard work hiking!

Lessons: Lassen History, Map & Compass skills
Camping Location: Warner Valley Campground

Day 6: Saturday — Day 4 Backpacking: Warner Valley Campground to Summit Lake

Today is our final day of hiking and adventuring together. After waking up and breaking camp, we pack up for our short hike to Summit Valley Campground where our backpacking trip concludes...right where it began! We spend the evening celebrating our amazing adventure together with a barbecue, cold drinks, showers, and ice cream!

Lessons: Lassen Geology
Camping Location: Summit Lake Campground

Day 7: Sunday — Drive back to SF

Today we head back to San Francisco. We are sad for the adventure to be over, but incredibly proud of our awesome accomplishments!

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