Lake Helen (Lassen Peak)

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For other places with the same name, see Lake Helen (disambiguation).
Lake Helen
Lake Helen From Road.JPG
Lake Helen as seen from the highway
Location Lassen Volcanic National Park, Shasta County, California, US
Coordinates 40°28′07″N 121°30′36″W / 40.46861°N 121.51000°W / 40.46861; -121.51000Coordinates: 40°28′07″N 121°30′36″W / 40.46861°N 121.51000°W / 40.46861; -121.51000
Basin countries United States
Surface elevation 8,200 ft (2,500 m)[1]
Frozen October/November to June - August

Lake Helen is a glacial lake or a tarn occupying a cirque at around 8,200 feet (2,500 m) in Lassen Volcanic National Park.[1] The lake is located to the south of Lassen Peak and west of Bumpass Mountain in the Shasta Cascades region of Northern California. Highway 89 runs along the lake's southern and eastern shore.[2] The lake is named for Helen Tanner Brodt who in 1864 became the first woman to reach the summit of Lassen Peak.[3]


Since the lake is at a high elevation (over 8,000 feet (2,438 m)), the lake is frozen and covered in deep snow for most of the year. Ice usually forms sometime around October–November and remains until July–August. During winter, Pacific storms come in from the west and bedeck the lake with copious amounts of snowfall. Annual snowfall at the lake is around 600-700 inches (15.24 m-17.78 m), making it the snowiest place in California.[4] The maximum average snow depth for the lake is 178 inches (4.52 m), though sometimes it could reach over 315 in. (8 m).[4][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Google Earth elevation for GNIS coordinates.
  2. ^ "Lake Helen, USGS LASSEN PEAK (CA) Topo Map". Retrieved 2008-07-04. 
  3. ^ "Women Artists of Mount Shasta: 1860s-1930s". College of the Siskiyous. Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  4. ^ a b "CascadeSnow". SkiMountaineer. Retrieved 2007-08-31. 
  5. ^ "Subsection M261Dm - Lassen - Almanor". U.S. Forest Service. Archived from the original on 2005-03-07. Retrieved 2014-02-22. 

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Lake Helen at Wikimedia Commons