Monday, July 2, 2012

Glass Mountain

First a quick answer.  No, you cannot walk behind the water of Burney Falls.  Much of the water is actually coming thru the porous rock face rather than over the top of the falls.  An interesting place indeed.

On Saturday we went off to another amazing place. 

Glass Mountain.

Pictures cannot do justice to the views of this vast, alien landscape. 

"Glass Mountain consists of a spectacular, nearly treeless, steep-sided rhyolite and dacite obsidian flow that erupted just outside the eastern caldera rim and flowed down the steep eastern flank of Medicine Lake volcano."

It is one huge pile of pumice, lava rock, and obsidian. 

It looks and feels like another planet!

Or like the Earth vomited up  gigantic amounts of rock from deep down inside her.

We drove there and parked at one of several dirt parking areas.  No one else was around.  Craig climbed up to the top of this mound, but I decided it was not my kind of climb after the first few feet, and backed off.  The rocks were very loose and very sharp.  I figured I might be able to get up to the top, but was afraid my old inflexible body would have trouble getting back down. (In fact Craig did cut himself slightly on his descent and commented that gloves would have been helpful.)

I walked along the road that bordered the glass mound and found a much easier way up to the top.  

We took too many pictures to post. If you ever do get to that area, you must see Glass Mountain for yourself.

This is one pile of obsidian that was about eight to ten feet tall.  Black Glass! 

One thing I found very interesting was that there was no dust.  Just loose  rock.

Here and there a few trees do manage to grow.  I took this picture of one tiny tree sprouting in a crack in the rock.  

That's the magic of pictures.  Because I am including it here I will probably remember it far into the future.

We left the Glass Mountain and drove to a pleasant, but deserted picnic area on Medicine lake.  

I'm getting to like this picnic business!  Grapes, trail mix, a small snack bar and a few sweet dried plums were lunch this day.

What kinds of things do you snack on when you visit places like this?  No restaurants for many miles!


  1. On day trips, I almost always pack a lunch the night before. A sandwich, fruit, maybe a few chips, a nice bag of ice to keep my water cold. :)

    The other day, I had cold leftover shrimp and a nice homegrown tomato.

  2. Sounds like a great excuse to dine simply al fresco. Fresh air at altitude improves your attitude! (if you add dude to the end of that line I think you have a country song lyric there).

    As kids, we used to camp at Burney and later, Medicine Lake when our friends,with access to the PG&E family campgrounds, joined us - they had a trailer and we rented a pop-top tent trailer. Lassen was a frequent place to go when we lived up in Yreka and later in Sonoma County. I think I am overdue now - last trip was 17 years ago and the ice stopped me dead in my tracks on the trail when I couldn't figure how to descend. Sorry to have missed the top of the caldera. We did camp a night at altitude to acclimate beforehand. love the sparseness of it all.

  3. pita and some sort of bean/hummus dip. Sometimes some spinach. And of course some fruit.

  4. OH! we were going to go camping at Medicine Lake last week, but were afraid there was still snow there. We LOVE Medicine Lake and have camped there often. I have lots of pictures of that amazing area, including Glass Mountain. So Glad that you found this favorite little spot of mine!


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