• Lassen Peak from Hat Creek

    Lassen Volcanic

    National Park California

Lassen Peak Trail Rock Fall is Tragic for Local Family

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Date: July 30, 2009
Contact: Darlene M. Koontz, 530-595-4444 x5101

Yesterday afternoon, a Red Bluff family was hiking the Lassen Peak Trail in Lassen Volcanic National Park. They were approximately one mile up the 2.5 mile ascent when a rock fall killed their nine year old son and seriously injured their 13 year old daughter. Their youngest daughter of ten escaped with minor scrapes. Nearby hikers and the National Park Service assisted the family to provide first aid and prepare for helicopter operations to air lift the brother and sister to nearby Mercy Medical Center in Redding. The parents and youngest daughter were able to hike down from the trail with rescue personnel. "This is a very sad day for the family and I would like to extend my condolences to their family and friends for their loss," stated Superintendent Darlene M. Koontz.

Several agency aircrafts participated in the rescue including Mercy Medical, Cal Fire, and the California Highway Patrol. "We appreciate their assistance and quick response," added Superintendent Koontz. The Lassen Peak Trail will be closed while an assessment is completed and it is determined safe to open to the public. A full investigation of this tragic accident is underway.

The Lassen Peak Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in Lassen Volcanic National Park. The trail to the top of Lassen Peak begins at the peak parking area at an elevation of 8500 feet. Approximately 25,000 - 30,000 visitors hike to the top each season. There are many views of the park and surrounding areas from the trail and it has the notoriety of being one of the largest plug dome volcanoes in the world.

For more information about the park, please call (530) 595-4480 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. or visit the park website at www.nps.gov/lavo.

Did You Know?

View of devastated area from Main Park Road.

The 29 mile Main Park Road was constructed between 1925 and 1931, just 10 years after Lassen Peak erupted. Near Lassen Peak the road reaches 8512 feet, making it the highest road in the Cascade Mountains. It is not unusual for 40 feet of snow to accumulate on the road near Lake Helen.