Geog 312 field trip: Hydraulic Mining areas and Lassen
Volcanic National Park
Other years' group shots
(Most of the) Photography by Jeff Kapellas (312 F'96)
Field Trip Schedule: Hydraulic mining areas and
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Day 1 (Thursday evening):
- Drive after dinner (meet at 6, leave at 6:30pm, in Lot 8, by DPS), on
I-80 past Auburn to Colfax exit.
- Turn right at top of exit, then take 2d left on Iowa Hill Rd.
- Drive a couple or so miles down steep grade to bridge crossing N. Fork
American River. Cross bridge, then turn left into Mineral Bar
campground, Auburn State Recreation Area. This is a dry camping area, so we'll bring
water -- have water bottles and containers full.
Day 2 (Friday):
- Up at 7 am, out of camp by 8 am.
- Back to Colfax (by around 8:30) then follow Hwy 174 2.7 miles to Bear River bridge, then
another 4.6 miles to You Bet Road on the right.
- Follow You Bet Road 2.5 miles to You Bet Bridge, then continue for another 3.0 miles to
Junction Lowell Hill Road, where you should stay to the left.
- Stop just past at Red Dog - You Bet Mines overlook.
- Possible side trip 3.4 miles to Red Dog Ford & Greenhorn
Creek, if time permits and vehicles capable, then return 3.4 miles to Lowell Hill
- Follow Lowell Hill Road 0.8 miles to Hawkins (Birdseye) Canyon tunnels. Brief
- Continue 1.3 miles to Steephollow Crossing at Wilcox
- Return to You Bet Rd, and brief stop at You Bet Bridge over Greenhorn Creek.
- Return to Hwy 174, Colfax, and I 80 E (towards Reno).
- I 80 E: (~10 miles?) Gold Run Rest Area (one exit past Gold Run exit). Stewart
Hydraulic Mine pit. Lunch.
- I 80 E: 11.3 miles: Take exit after Nyack, go under overpass, and head back on I 80 W to
Emigrant Gap overlook of Bear Valley.
- On I 80 E, take Nyack exit and return under overpass to I 80 W.
- Take Hwy 20 exit, and go W toward Nevada City. At 4.3 miles, turn right on Bowman Lake
Road. Cross Bear River, then at 0.9 miles park on left near the canal. Walk N onto the
rocks toward Yuba Gorge.
- Return to Hwy 20, turn left and return to I 80 E (towards Reno ~ 50 miles).
- Probably stop at Donner Summit rest area to fill water containers and restrooms. Just
past summit, road crosses Sierra Nevada Fault, end of granitics.
- Between W end of Donner Lake and Truckee, note bouldery moraines of glacial till.
- Probably stop at 1st Truckee exit for gas.
- Continue E on I-80 to Reno
- US 395 N: 58 miles, then 4 more miles on Hwy 36 W to Susanville.
Brief stop just past Agricultural Inspection station (in California). Note braided
channels in Long Valley Creek.
- Hwy 36 W: 4 miles to Susanville, then another 6 miles to R turn at Hwy 44. If necessary,
in Susanville fill water containers for camping.
- Hwy 44 W: approximately 35 miles to left turn onto road to Butte Lake, then 2 miles on
dirt road to Butte Creek (USFS) campground on left. Do not go past to Butte
Lake NPS campground, which is closed. Should arrive ~6 pm.
Day 3 (Saturday):
- Break camp by 8 am, and drive 3 miles to Butte Lake in Lassen Volcanic
- Hike to and over Cinder Cone, and Fantastic Lava Beds.
Carry water and an energy snack. Cameras recommended. Wear sturdy boots, preferably high
top to keep cinders out.
- Lunch at the Butte Lake picnic tables. Leave by 1 pm.
- Drive out to Hwy 44, then left 11 miles to intersection with Hwy 89. At about 9-10
miles, watch for unmarked pullout on right for Hat Creek valley - Hat Creek Lava Flow
- Hwy 89 N: drive short distance north to Subway Cave lava tube.
Explore lava tube -- need flashlights. Fill water containers for camping.
- Hwy 89 S: drive 13 miles S to Lassen Volcanic National Park entrance, on Hwy 89.
If it's hot, we'll stop for ice cream S of Old Station.
- Hwy 89 S: at entrance station, show entrance permit. Continue about 2 miles to Chaos Jumbles (0.5 miles past Manzanita Lake campground
entrance). Pull out on right (very narrow pullouts -- watch for traffic), then walk up on
jumbles for view of Chaos Crags & Chaos Jumbles rockfall avalanche.
- Hwy 89 S: See Road Guide for various sights as we pass through park, a total of around
28 miles. Stops:
- Continue to Southwest Walk-in campground, next to the Visitors Center. If full,
backup is Battle Creek USFS campground (continue out of park on Hwy 89, R on Hwy 36, go
past Mineral, look for campground on left).
Day 4 (Sunday)
- Break camp by 8 am, and drive 7.4 miles S to summit and park in Lassen Peak
trailhead parking area.
- Hike to top of Lassen Peak. Carry lunch. Someone
should bring a copy of Through Vulcan's Eye for a reading. We'll need motivated
performers to play the parts. Hike around the crater. See dacite lava flows,
ice/snow layers. Come back down (leave crater by 1 pm).
- If it's hot, take a (very chilly) dip in Lake Helen.
- If we missed Sulfur Works the day before, we'll briefly
stop here before heading home.
- Drive home: Hwy 89 S to Hwy 36 W to Red Bluff. I-5, I-505, I-80 home.
- Unless we're delayed, we should be home by 8 pm.
- hydraulic mining
- slopewash erosion
- concave slope profiles
- soil profiles
- sediment volumes
Steephollow and Greenhorn creeks (Steephollow Crossing, You
Bet Bridge and Red Dog Ford)
- fluvial processes: capacity, competence & stream power
- hydraulic mining effects
- stream terraces
- channel bed armouring
- sediment storage
- stream capture
- stream power & underfit vs. overfit streams
- channel storage
- glacial history -- Tahoe & Tioga
- evidence of glacial erosion/direction
- subglacial erosion processes
Yuba Gorge & vicinity
- stream capture, etc. (see above)
- glacial striae
- glacial erratics
- contrasting stream power in capture
- roche mountonée: abrasion v. plucking
I-80 between Truckee and Reno
- Look for extensive volcanics erupted within the last 10-15 million years.
- In Nevada, look for large terraces of glacial outwash gravels.
- alluvial fans -- bajada
- playa lakes -- evaporites
- pluvial lake (Lake Lahontan) remnants and shorelines
Cinder Cone & Fantastic Lava Beds
- tephra cone formation/morphology
- associated lava flows
- basaltic tephra
- history of eruption
- talus & angle of repose
Subway Cave lava tube
- pahoehoe & block lava
- lava tube formation
- mass wasting & entrance collapses
Chaos Crags & Chaos Jumbles
- (porhyritic) dacite plug dome
- rockfall avalanche
- lake formation
- pyroclastic flow: nuee ardente
- recovery times
Kings Creek Meadow
- meadow evolution
- fluvial processes
- point bars
- cut banks
- natural levees
- oxbow lakes
- meander scars
- gradient/grain size
- hydrothermal areas
- hydrolysis / chemical weathering
- solfataras & fumaroles
- water sources
- vent breccia
- caldera collapse & erosion
- Cascade chain
- plug domes
- talus & angle of repose
- nuee ardente & lahar
- tephra deposits
- viscous dacitic lava flow
- evidence of weathering
- glacial erosion & history
- glacial accumulation zone
- Mt. Tehama caldera collapse & erosion
Thanks to Jeff Kapellas (Fall 96) for the lovely photos