Cycling Mt. Lassen South
Ride 16.6 miles gaining 3,637’ to elevation 8,457’ at 4% average grade.
This ride enters Mt. Lassen National Park (Est. 1916, 106,452 acres, ~500,000 visitors per year) from the south, beginning in the tiny Northern California town of Mineral (population 120), climbing northeast on Highway 36. Mt. Lassen is the largest Lava Dome volcano in the world.
First 9.8 miles from the start to the park entrance.
The first 4.4 miles on Highway 36 are a bit stressful, with not infrequent encounters with logging trucks and no appreciable shoulder to permit a little breathing room. Once turning onto Highway 89, traffic is mild and not a safety concern. We are in Lassen Volcanic National Park the entire climb.
Second half of the climb, after entering the park.
Beware that there is no fee exemption for cyclists and we were charged $15 to enter in 2020 -- the toll booth is at about the 9.8 mile mark, so don't forget your entrance fee! We suggest filling up with water here as there is no water access past this point. We misfired on this, but fortunately had snow available to fill our water bottles on the way up the volcano. We travel through pleasant alpine settings in the lower portion of the slope which eventually gives way to a more stark, barren and rocky landscape. The views along the top third of the climb of Mt. Lassen, the surrounding mountain ridges (snow covered in the early season), and the plains far below are exceptional and make this climb well worth the effort if you are in the area, or as a destination climb.
PJAMM Cycling’s Taylor Hocket
Fastest Known Time Lassen Bike Ride South + Run to Summit, August 6, 2020:
Ride 16.6 miles gaining 3,637’ to elevation 8,457’ at 4% average grade,
Run 2.4 miles gaining 1,770’ at 15.2% average grade.
Roadway Surface and Traffic Report: The roadway surface is excellent throughout the ride. Big rig traffic for the first four miles on Highway 36 is a bit harrowing, but we have smooth sailing for the last 12 miles of the climb on Highway 89.