Medicine Lake Volcano

Little-known compared to the more shapely and famous stratovolcanoes which dominate the Cascade Range, the broad shield of Medicine Lake Volcano is nevertheless the largest volcano in the entire range. It covers an area of over 800 square miles (2000 square km), lying east of the Cascade Crest amidst the barren high desert of northeastern California. Although it rises only 4000 feet (1200 m) above its base, its massive bulk of 150 cubic miles (600 cubic km) easily surpasses the volume of Mount Shasta (90 cubic miles / 350 cubic km) , the largest of the Cascade stratovolcanoes. It is remarkably similar in size, form, and volcanic evolution to the more well-known Newberry Volcano in Oregon, the second largest volcano in the range. Like Newberry, Medicine Lake is a shield volcano which underwent multiple caldera-forming collapses, resulting in a huge 4.5 x 7.5 mile (7 x 12 km) wide depression which houses its namesake lake. Also like Newberry, its flanks are covered with hundreds of cinder cones and accompanying lava flows, while the caldera has several large and very recently formed obsidian flows. The variety of recent volcanic features at Medicine Lake is truly astonishing, and it is a shame that only a small portion of its northern flanks enjoys nationally protected status. The cinder cones, lava flows, and especially the many lava tube caves of little-visited Lava Beds National Monument are fascinating, as are the large obsidian (black volcanic glass) flows of Glass Mountain and Little Glass Mountain. More info about Medicine Lake Volcano coming here soon ... including what areas might be skiable, along with how to access them. It does snow heavily in winter, although not nearly as much as places farther west such as Mount Shasta, and large snow patches typically linger into July. There are many cross-country skiing possibilities, although currently only snowmobilers are catered to by the multiple use policies of the US Forest Service.

Elevation (feet): 7,913
Elevation (meters): 2,412
Continent: North America
Country: United States
Range/Region: Cascade Range
State: California
Latitude: 41.6111
Longitude: -121.5536
Difficulty: Walk up
Best months for climbing: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Dec
Most recent eruption: 1910? other wise 1857 is the last eruption
Year first climbed: Unknown, probably Native American
First successful climber(s): Unknown, probably Native American
Nearest major airport: mount shasta city
Convenient Center: mount shasta city

Thanks to Brian Garrett for adding this peak.

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are currently no Medicine Lake Volcano trip reports! You can be the first to submit one!