Aspen Return to Lassen NF

Aspen, Bogard Campground, Lassen NF (9/6/18) Chico Hiking Association

In 2003, Lassen National Forest began an aspen restoration project near the Bogard Campground and Susan River off Hwy 44 on the way to the Black Lake Loop trail in the Caribou Wilderness. (More about what the US Forest Service accomplished will be posted here, soon. However, in the photos above and to the left, note the mature aspen surrounded by young aspen. This shows what the forest will look like, once this grove ages.)

Aspen, Black Lake Loop, Lassen NF (9/6/18) Chico Hiking Association

Today, the aspen are growing and spreading. Arlaine Arslan of the Chico Hiking Association (CHA) reports, “There’s also very small grove along the Posey Lake Loop trail and road side along the Susan River on the way to the Black Lake Loop trailhead.”  In recognition of Lassen National Forest’s accomplishment, Black Lake Loop is honored as this week’s Hike of the Week.

The Chico Hiking Association promotes hiking trails within about two hours of Chico, providing maps, directions and the links needed to get to the Chico area’s best hiking trails, many of which have lovely fall color. In spring and summer, CHA focuses on wildflowers, while in autumn and early winter they are fall color spotters.

Aspen, Black Lake Loop, Lassen NF (9/6/18) Chico Hiking Association

Eastern Sierra aspen are legendary for their profuse color, though many smaller, though still inspirational, groves can be discovered in the Northern Sierra near Chico. Hikers often find these trails lightly tread with few worn spots where others planted their tripods or stood.

CHA hopes to change perceptions that only bigleaf maple, black oak and Indian rhubarb are to be found in this lightly visited part of Upper California, and that their trails are a mind-clearing alternative to more congested fall color destinations.


Dwarf Billberry, Black Lake Loop, Lassen NF (9/6/18) Chico Hiking Association

Maps leading hikers from the highest point in the Coastal Range ( Mt Linn) to the highest point on the Pacific Crest Trail in the Cascade Range (Butt Mountain), as well as to Lassen Peak, are produced by CHA, many along routes forested with fall color. Learn more at chicohiking.org

Just Starting (0-10%) – Lassen National Forest (5,600′) – Aspen groves at Bogard Campground and along the Black Lake Loop are exhibiting some of the earliest fall color yet reported in California.