OverviewBlack Lassic is a prominent volcano-shaped (triangular) peak in the Six Rivers National Forest (Trinity Co., CA). The peak is fairly remote, the nearest major town being Eureka, CA, close to a two hour drive away. The general area around the peak is sparsely settled with only a handful of small towns, none of which exceeds a population of 1,000 people.
Black Lassic is one of 169 California 2,000' prominence peaks, ranking 60th overall with 2,796' of prominence. If you are fortunate to have good weather during the ascent, the views from the summit are spectacular - from horizon to horizon, you can see well over 200 miles. The peak is situated in an area that provides unobstructed views west to King Peak, north to the Trinity Alps, and southeast to the Yolla Bolly Mountains (see South Yolla Bolly Mountain).
During the walk/drive up the main (easiest) approach route, the peak looks impressive. Not until one reaches the "back side" (southwest side) does an easy approach route become apparent. From its easiest route, the peak is easy class 2 over small rocks and sand, but it certainly does not give one that impression until just near the end of the approach. Hikers wanting something a little more exciting can find class 3 routes on the east and north faces - but be prepared for some loose rock and sand!
Nearby peaks include Red Lassic (5,898') and Mount Lassic (5,878' - named "Signal Peak" on the USGS topo). Either or both of these peaks can be climbed easily (class 2 max) as a bonus from their common saddle, although the views from the others would likely be comparable since their elevations are within a few feet of each other. Given their close proximity, the extra effort to "bag" a couple of extra peaks is probably worth it.
Getting ThereThe area surrounding the Lassics (Black, Red, and Mount Lassic) is most easily reached from Six Rivers NF road 1S07. Although it's probably able to be climbed from a number of approach routes, the easiest by far is from 1S07.
To reach the closest access point for Black Lassic, first get yourself to CA SR 36 in Mad River, CA. Mad River is located approximately 40 miles E of US 101 at Fortuna (if coming from the west), or ~100 miles W of I-5 in Red Bluff. SR 36 is not a high-speed thruway - expect speeds to average 30-35 miles per hour in most places along the highway, and adjust your time estimates accordingly. If coming from US 101, you'll pass through some great dense redwood forests - take the time to stop and admire the beauty.
Once in Mad River, take signed Van Duzen Road south approximately 10 miles to forest road 1S07 - a GPS might be handy here to avoid speeding past the turnoff. As of 5/2008, 1S07 is signed, but as like most forest routes, the sign is tiny and easy to miss.
1S07 is an excellent forest road - follow it as far as you can, given your vehicle's capabilities. Most 2wd passenger cars should be able to make it to within a mile or so of the peak, many can make it closer. I'd suggest avoiding driving off road as the area surrounding the peaks is contained within the specially designated Lassics geological and botanical area, and there are signs placed periodically along the road to discourage off-road access.
Black Lassic is the prominent volcano-shaped peak visible from 1S07 - you'll see it as you drive up - it's impossible to miss. Drive as far as you can, keeping in mind that the easiest approach is from the southwest at the saddle separating "Signal Peak" (Mount Lassic) from Black Lassic. If you can make it to the saddle, the peak is an easy class 2 climb from there. If you can't make it that far, then you'll have to factor in some class 1 road-walking with the last bit of class 2.
There are some more interesting routes that can be had from various sides of the peak. Depending on the season and route chosen, ice axe and crampons may be required as the area can receive quite a bit of snow. Aside from the gentle SW ridge, the other faces of the peak are most likely loose class 3 during summer and steep snow during winter/spring.
1S07 does continue southward past the Lassics area, however an approach from this side would involve far more driving over questionable roads. If you seriously want to approach the peak from the south, you should locate a copy of the Six Rivers NF Map and call the number listed below for up-to-date information.
CA SR 36, although not exceeding 4,500' elevation in this area, can receive quite a bit of snow. If attempting Black Lassic during the winter or spring months, come prepared with chains and the usual winter accouterments. FR 1S07 does not have any gates from Van Duzen Road to the summit area, but it may not be plowed in the winter and spring months - you may have a climb of several miles extra depending on when you choose to ascend - in early May, 2008, we had to hike along the road to the peak for about 4.5 mi.
Red Tape & More InfoThe area surrounding the Lassics is in the Six Rivers NF, so usual national forest restrictions apply. I'd assume that normal camping rules are in force, but for up-to-date information you're urged to contact:
Mad River Ranger District
Star Route, Box 300
Bridgeville, CA 95526
(The above current as of 5/2008)
External LinksSix Rivers National Forest
Six Rivers National Forest - current conditions
Mad River, CA - current weather conditions