Derek and I drove the short distance to Lake Almanor one day to ride the path that skirts one side of the lake. It’s paved but heavily covered in tree branches, needles, and pine cones from the winter. We started at the PG&E damn and rode to the end and back for 22.2 miles with 1177′ of climbing.
Lake Almanor is a popular summer recreation spot but it’s too early in the year for that yet. The campgrounds are still closed but there were a few boats out on the lake fishing. That said, we didn’t see anyone else on our ride except some forest workers clearing dead trees from the giant fire that blazed through the area last year. In fact, our ride started in the burn, quickly passed into heavy green cedar and pine forest, and then entered heavy burn at our turn-around point.
The lake is beautiful itself, made even more so by the dramatic Lassen Peak (10,457′) looming in the distance. Lassen Peak was named in honor of a Danish blacksmith, Peter Lassen, who guided immigrants past the peak to the Sacramento Valley during the 1830s. Lassen Peak is the largest lava dome on earth! The volcano arose from the former northern flank of now-eroded Mount Tehama about 27,000 years ago, from a series of eruptions over the course of a few years. The mountain has been significantly eroded by glaciers over the last 25,000 years, and is now covered in talus deposits. Lassen has a functioning magma chamber under the ground still capable of eruptions and is monitored by the California Volcano Observatory.
The ride is easy enough that anyone could enjoy and there are several scenic stops with benches and beautiful views. If you are here in the summer I imagine you’d have to stop and take a dip in the lake too.