Lassen Volcanic National Park’s summer programs explore the rich volcanic landscape and celebrate an explosive history and wondrous night sky. Summertime visitors have the opportunity to join in on nature walks, talks, living history and junior ranger programs by day and can turn their attention to the heavens by night. “There is so much to be seen and experience here at Lassen. We’re excited about the upcoming Dark Sky Festival with highlights on the New Horizons mission, Junior Ranger Programs for nighttime exploration, and the new Moonlight Paddling Tours to experience the beauty of a full-moon evening,” stated Superintendent Steve Gibbons.
The Dark Sky Festival scheduled for August 7 through August 9 will bring NASA scientists, astronomers, park rangers and park visitors together to one of the best places to learn about and enjoy the splendor of the dark night sky. Lassen is very excited to celebrate the astounding New Horizons mission as it documents Pluto and other objects in the outer reaches of our solar system. This year’s Dark Sky Festival will continue this celebration with special programs focused on this incredible mission. Junior Rangers from age five to twelve can earn a Night Explorer patch by completing activities in the Night Explorer workbook available at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center and Loomis Museum.
New Moonlight Paddling Tours of Manzanita Lake will be offered by the park concessioner, California Guest Services on the nights of July 30, 31 and August 20, 28, 29, and 30 with the last full moon tours of the season on September 27, 28, and 29. A special tour will be offered during the peak of the Perseid meteor shower on August 12. Each tour is limited to the lake’s eight rental vessels – single and tandem kayaks, a canoe and a cataraft. Tours will depart according to best viewing times, limited to two hours with a return by midnight. Lead by two guides these programs will include basic paddling techniques, safety, and night sky viewing of natural phenomena. Cost per person is $65 and reservations can be obtained by calling the Manzanita Lake Camper Store at (530) 335-7557. For more information, please visit www.lassenrecreation.com.