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One of the most diverse and least visited volcanos in the state of California is Medicine Lake Volcano. It lies east of the main volcanic axis of the Cascades, and is much different than the more typical Cascade Mountains stratovolcanos, such as Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen, which stand nearby. Because this sub range of the Cascades is somewhat remote, the fascinating nature of this area is largely unappreciated.

Medicine Lake Highlands is the largest identified volcano (in total area) within California. The large Hawaiian type shield volcano's broad, gently sloping profile (stretching some 15 miles from east to west and nearly 25 miles north and south) belies the fact that it is actually larger than nearby Mt. Shasta. Approximately 100,000 years ago, the great volcano underwent a series of eruptions which undermined the center of the mountain and the crest subsided to create a huge crater or caldera. Around the margins of this subsidence, new, smaller volcanos arose; they are called rampart volcanos. Medicine Lake now partially fills the crater.

Distance: 31 Miles

Directions: From McCloud, The self-guided tour begins at the intersection of Highway 89 and Forest Road 15 (Harris Springs Road), 0.2 miles east of the Bartle Store, located approximately 16 miles east of McCloud.

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Shasta-Trinity National Forests

Visitor Information

Telephone Number: (530)226-2500
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

Review by Wildernet Copyright © 2010 all rights reserved.