The Lassics

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One of the great places to visit of our area, Black Lassic. The great thing about this peak (5,900′), is that it is very easy to get right up on top. A road essentially crosses a broad saddle where Black Lassic connects with Red Lassic and Signal Peak. There is a turn off where you can park then walk a relatively gentle trail and be on top in 15-20 minutes. If there is snow, you might not be able to get as close so be prepared to hike for a few hours depending on how close you can get. The mountain is always in plain view so its not hard to know where to go, just make sure you get to the uphill side of Lassic before you try to get to the top. All the other sides of the mountain get extremely steep and most of it is fractured and unstable.

The Lassics are considered a unique geologic area where different pieces of ancient history collide. This grey and red soil is called ‘serpentine’ and is highly acidic, and even has naturally occurring asbestos within in it. While allot of this land can be barren, stands of incense cedar and pines can grow on serpentine. Where more developed soils occur, stands true fir stands develop.

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I decided to scramble up to Red Lassic first. While this is not a hard hike, there is no trail so don’t try to take small kids or bad legs up here.

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At first glance it looks like a simple enough walk, but you must cross these talus slopes and that can be hard on your knees. My knees seem to feel it more and more each year, but I have always enjoyed scrambling over this kind of terrain.

Eventually you get to relatively stable rock and can take in some fantastic views.

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The highest point in this picture is called Signal Peak. I think there used to be a fire lookout here. When you visit this place, you can easily get to the top of all three of the peaks, Black Lassic, Red Lassic, and Signal Peak in a single day.

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A nice view of Mad River Rock. That is on my radar for my next adventure. I have always wanted to explore it! Someday Ill find the time.

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And of course a great view of Black Lassic from the top of Red.

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Looking back at Red Lassic, it does not look that impressive, although shooting a picture into the sun never really works…

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Making my way up Black Lassic, you can really see the black color of the rocks and soil, which is indeed in contrast to the red hue of Red Lassic.

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And finally, the truly epic view. Mad River Rock again. Its the Van Duzen River between us and the Rock. The next ridge you see is ‘South Fork Mountain’ which drains the Mad River. I do not know what to call the next ridge line, however I know that the east side of South Fork drains into the South Fork Trinity River. I have some panoramas Ill be posting next taken from these peaks.



  1. Awesome photos. That is one of my favorite areas. I believe signal peak used to have a heliograph station on it over 100 years ago. Sending signals with light from the sun off of a mirror. There is a stone/concrete pedastal near the top of signal peak which may have been part of the station. If i recall correctly there is a date stamped in it from the late 1800s.

  2. Great photos and narrative. On my Shasta-T NF map, if i imagine a NE trending line from the Lassics to Mad River Rock, on your photo, it looks like you can see Hwy 36 crossing over SF Mountain on the flank of Norse Butte. To the SE i can imagine Rattlesnake Ridge. To the NE, perhaps the range can be summarized as Oak Ridge/Indian Valley, separating Butter Creek headwaters from the SF Trinity River, with Hayfork Creek & Salt Creek beyond that to the NE. Too bad there is no snow pack to help distinguish higher peaks and ridges. Thank you for sharing.

  3. ed width=”330″ height=”0″ type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” allowFullscreen=”true” allowNetworking=”all” wmode=”direct” src=”[object Url]” flashvars=”file=[object Url]&os=0&ap=0″>

    I’m not sure if this will. Here’s looking back at you from Castle Rock Peak. One of the high points on the next ridge. rock/Girls Castle rove 027_zpsmehgr1sk.mp4.html

    If the I bed doesn’t work.

    Thanks for the picts, I’ve never made it over yonder.. 🙂

  4. This is by far one of your best posts. I have been curious about this area for a long time, having seen Black Lassic from Highway 36’s pass on South Fork Mountain (horrible road!). This is your best collection of images of the Lassics that I have seen.

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