Lake Helen (Lassen Peak)

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Lake Helen
Lake Helen From Road.JPG
Lake Helen as seen from the highway
LocationLassen Volcanic National Park, Shasta County, California, US
Coordinates40°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 countriesUnited States
Surface elevation8,200 ft (2,500 m)[1]
FrozenOctober/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 white 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]

View from highway 89[edit]

View of Lake Helen in June 2020
View of Lake Helen in June 2020

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. Archived from the original on 2009-01-09. 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]