Drakesbad for Kids
Lassen Volcanic National Park attracts young students from Marin County.
Last summer a group of students from a REAL School Marin made a return visit to Drakesbad Guest Ranch in Lassen Volcanic National Park. Rather than arrive via car from Chester, CA, the students and teachers parked their vehicles at Kings Creek Falls and hiked into Warner Valley via the Pacific Crest Trail, a two hour journey through one of the most scenic parts of Lassen.
A welcomed soak in the hot springs pool to ease sore muscles was the first stop at the Ranch which was enthusiastically followed by a hearty meal in the rustic Drakesbad dining room. The after-dinner “Pow Wow” around the campfire with S’mores and lively conversation completed a memorable day: all accomplished without I Pods, I Pads, and cell phones! At 11:00 pm the generator was turned off: silence and deep darkness opened up the star studded sky and the occasional shooting star brought oohs and aahs from this urban group. After a long day filled with exercise and wonderful memories the group began to thin out and head to bed.
The 7:30 am breakfast bell was a welcomed sound to our young visitors and soon they were piling in the dining room for a hearty meal and a mug of hot chocolate. After picking up their bag lunches, they were off on an adventurous hike to Devils Kitchen; a hydro thermal active area, with mud pots, fumaroles and hot springs (see photo). A side trip to Boiling Spring Lake, the largest boiling acid lake in the United States, made this trip especially worthwhile- demonstrating the geological wonders of California in full force!
Upon returning to the Ranch the group enjoyed a warm bath, a soak in the hot spring pool and a delicious dinner. The evening was a repeat of the previous one with happy chatter and sharing of the day’s experiences.
The next morning after breakfast students and teachers broke camp and departed with a heavy heart to their return destination for their journey back home. We felt very privileged to host this great group of young adults and we hope to welcome them again in future seasons.