MT. LASSEN SOUTH
We begin this climb in the tiny (population 120) Northern California town of Mineral , climbing northeast on Hwy 36.
The first 4.4 miles on Hwy 36 is a bit stressful with the not infrequent encounter with logging trucks and no appreciable shoulder to permit a little breathing room. Once turning onto hwy 89, traffic is mild and not a safety concern. We are in Lassen Volcanic National Park the entire climb.
Beware that there is no fee exemption for cyclists and we were charged $10 to enter in June, 2016 - the toll booth is at about the 11 miles 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.
Roadway surface and traffic: The roadway surface is excellent throughout the ride. Big rig traffic for the first 4 miles on Hwy 36 is a bit harrowing, but we have smooth sailing for the last 12 miles of the climb on Hwy 89.
Mt. LASSEN NORTH
This is the easier of the two Lassen ascents – the grade is mild throughout, never exceeding 7.5%. As can be seen from our Lassen North slideshow, we travel through heavily forested terrain for nearly all the ascent. The view opens towards the top of the climb and we have good views of the Cascade Mountains surrounding us, although the southern ascent offers the more epic views during the climb. The roadway is excellent on this side of the mountain and traffic is mild and moves at a very safe speed – this is a safe climb.