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Travel the Feather River Canyon by Train

May 14th, 2014

Have you ever wanted to relive a little bit of history? 

Keddie Train 50'sThis is your chance to join Trains & Travel for an unforgettable experience of riding a private charter train up the scenic Feather River and take part in the fun of the 32nd annual Portola Railroad Days.

 

The special charted train trip starts in Emeryville and will stop to pick-up passengers in Martinez, Davis, Sacramento and Oroville.  Departing eastbound from the Bay Area the train runs on the former Southern Pacific Route along water’s edge of the San Francisco Bay with breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge. After the last pick-up in Oroville the rail line starts the climb in the High Sierra running around Lake Oroville and at one point you will travel over Lake Oroville on the West Branch and then travel through a series of tunnels running under Big Bend Mountain. Once the train reaches the lower region of the Feather River Canyon you will travel 91 miles  through three different regions of the rugged Feather River Canyon.  A number of PG&E hydro dams and powerhouses can be seen from the train. You will pass through a total of 32 tunnels as the train makes it journey from Emeryville to Portola. You will cross the Pulga and Tobin stacked bridges.

Six miles west of Quincy begins a stretch of railroad tracks referred to as the 7 Wonders of the Railroad World.  You will travel over 6 of these wonders between Keddie and Portola.

The first if referred as the “Keddie Wye”.  It is the only railroad wye in the world with two legs on bridges and a closing track in a tunnel.  The next is the Keddie yard, here two trains passing each other in opposite directions are both actually moving eastward.  East of Quincy is “Williams Loop” , the railroad track makes a continuous one mile loop to gain altitude.  The track crosses over itself to gain the necessary elevation required.  Long trains actually cross over themselves.  You will cross the Clio Trestle which is a breathtaking structure at 172 feet in height and 1,005 feet long.

 

You may choose to ride the train one-way or round trip.  This route is basically a freight only line now and seldom sees a passenger train.  It is very possible that this will be the last year that Trains and Travel will be offering this specific train trip due to costs.  The company is offering several different classes of tickets and lengths of trip to meet varying budgets.

 The second day of the trip you can spend at the Portola Railroad Days, starting with the Golden Spike Parade.  The passenger train will depart Portola at 2:00pm for the 40 mile journey down the Feather River Canyon to Keddie where it will turn  around on the famous Keddie Wye and Spanish Creek Bridge.

 Day three you board the train for a return trip down the Feather River Canyon and back to the bay area.

 For  more complete details on pricing, departure times, meals, lodging and transfers please visit Train & Travel’s website.  Train & Travel also offer other excursions all over the world.

 For more details on the Portola Railroad Festival please visit their website.  The Feather River Rail Society was founded in 1983 with a goal to preserve the memories and significant equipment from the 100 year history of the Western Pacific Railroad.

 The Western Pacific Railroad Museum now has one of the best collections of early diesel locomotives in the U.S.  Train rides in cabooses and vista flat cars are available on weekends during the summer and with special arrangements you can even drive a locomotive.  The Railroad Museum can be reached at 530-832-4131 or www.WPLives.org

 

 

Lassen Volcanic National Park Hosting Vehicle Free Weekend

May 8th, 2014

May16th- 18th

Lassen Park is inviting you to enjoy the main park road without the noise or hassle of motorized vehicles.

Bike Lassen Park free of motorized vehicles

spring bike ride

Spring Bike Ride – Lassen Volcanic National Park

Highway 89 will open May 16th at 9:00 am for travel between the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center and the Loomis Museum Plaza for non- motorized travel.  This is a very special opportunity to enjoy the spectacular scenery along the 30 mile stretch of Hwy 89 within the park boundaries.

The road will be open to bicyclists, hikers, runners and park visitors that would like to walk their dogs along the road.  You have the option of traveling the entire length of the road through Lassen Park or a shorter section.

Please share this information with your friends if you would like to see this become an official event each year at Lassen Park.

Terrain and Weather

summit elevation

Highest Paved Road in the Cascades

Be prepared for cool weather.  Elevation range is from 5,900 feet near Manzanita Lake to 8512 feet at highest point  of the  road near the Lassen Peak parking lot.  This is the highest paved road in the Cascades and part of the 500 mile Volcanic Scenic Byway.   This is a summer photo, be prepared for snow on the side of the road.

Special Ranger-led Programs Saturday May 17th

• 1:00 pm: Are We Alone? Life Outside of Earth, Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center Auditorium, 45 minutes
• 2:30 pm: Inside a Volcano, Sulphur Works, 45 minutes

Weather permitting

Solar scope viewing will also be available throughout the day at Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center.

Need More Information

Stop in at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center or the Loomis Ranger station between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm for more detailed information.  You may also visit the park website at:  www.nps.gov/lavo.  Park Rangers can be reached at 530-595-4480.

If you need lodging or food please check with us at St. Bernard Lodge, we would love to see you.

National Park Week 2014

March 30th, 2014
NPWeek_2014_GoWild

National Park Week 2014

National Park Week was first established in 1991 as part of the National Park Service 75th anniversary. This year National Park Week falls from April 19-27th.  All 401 National Parks will have fee free days April 19th and 20th.  During the week many parks will have special activities for both Earth Day, April 22, and special programs for Junior Rangers.

Most Americans are less than 100 miles from a National Park.  Check your local National Park for activities and special programs during National Park Week, remember entrance fees are waived for the 19th and 20th of April.

Lassen Volcanic National Park is re-opening the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center on April 1st.  If you need lodging for your trip to Lassen Park please check availabilitly at St. Bernard Lodge.  Take advantage of our Spring special:  Book 3 nights and 25% off third night stay through end of April 2014.

If you are unable to visit a National Park during National Park week, you may want to watch the new movie “Bears” produced by Disneynature.  Disneynature will make a contribution to the National Park Foundation  if you watch “Bears” during opening week starting April 18th.

 

Some fun facts about our National Parks:

  • 84 million acres of spectacular scenery, historic landmarks and cultural treasure
  • 17,000 miles of trails
  • 43,000 miles of shoreline
  • 27,000 historic and prehistoric structures
  • 100 million museum items
  • Largest Natinal Park is 13.2 million acres, the smallest .02 acres
  • Home to the largest trees in the world, the Sequoia Tree
  • Most important you are probably less than a 2 hour drive to one of our 401 National P

 

 

 

Special Events at Lassen Volcanic National Park for Summer 2014

March 8th, 2014

Highlights of Events at Lassen Park for 2014

 

Make your Plans to Hike the Lassen Peak Trail

 

Hiking Lassen PeakThe Lassen Peak trail is in its last year of a 2.5 million dollar trail  restoration project spanning over 5 years. It will be open to hike to the top of Lassen Peak on 6 weekends during the summer of 2014.

Once the snow is gone for the winter the first 1.3 miles of the Lassen Peak trail is hike-able to Grandview.  The trail is open past Grandview on the following dates:

The first weekend the trail is open to the Peak is Father’s Day Weekend  Friday June 13th – Sunday June 15th.

The trail will be open for Independence Day Weekend from Thursday July 3- Monday July 6.

The trail will be open for the Full moon in August from Friday, August 8th – Monday, August 10th.  The full moon is August 10th.

Labor Day Weekend from Friday August 29th – Monday September 1st.

The trail will be open during Public Lands Day, Sept. 27th.  The trail will be accessible from  Friday Sept. 26th – Sunday, September 28th.

The 27th will be a fee free entrance day to Lassen Park as well as the 4th Art & Wine Festival at the Kohmane Visitor Center.

The last opportunity to hike the peak in 2014 will be Columbus Day Weekend Friday, October 10- Monday , October 13.

Because of the popularity of this trail it is advised to plan for an earlier start if at all possible.

The Reach the Peak project began in 2010 and is scheduled to be completed in 2014.  For details on trail improvement  and progress to date check the park website.   The park has produced a  Short Video on Lassen Peak  showing some of the great views, pictures of Lassen Peak erupting and highlights of the restoration project.

 

3rd Annual Dark Sky Festival  August 1-3rd

 

Bumpass-Hell-viewing-Lassen-and-Milky-WayThis is a celebration to showcase the Dark Sky over Lassen Park.  This will give you an opportunity to learn more about our Dark Skies and the great resource they are.  You will learn little ways to help save this resource you may not have thought of.

There will be activities during the day and into the evening.  Telescopes will be set up at Bumpass Hell parking area as well as other locations in the park.  Check back here later in the season for more details.  Basic video of event.

A complete schedule of events will be available early July at the park website go.nps.gov/darksky.

Some of the highlights from last year included a special Night Explorer patch for kids 5 to 12.  The patch is earned by completing activities in the Night Explorer workbook.  The workbook is available at both the Loomis Visitor Center and the Kohm Yah-meh-nee Visitor Center.

A ranger led Solar System hike along the Mill Creek Falls Trail.  You will learn just how far apart the planets in our solar system are spaced.  Much more fun to learn about our solar system while on a beautiful hike that sitting in a classroom.

You will be able to enjoy great views of the Milky Way, with laser guided tours of constellations, as well as telescope viewing.

Last year the Astronomical Society of Nevada helped out with this event and they are scheduled to return.  One of their goals is to encourage, foster, conduct and support programs on astronomy and related sciences for the education and enlightenment of the general public.

NASA scientists were part of the program, teaching about the exciting field of astrobiology and Lassen’s role in the search for life.

Guest staying with us last year all raved about this program.  Make your plans to visit now.  Availability for lodging at the St. Bernard Lodge.

 

Special Programs for the Kids

junior rangerLassen Volcanic National Park offers several programs just for the kids and a few for the adults.  Lassen Park offers a junior ranger program, ranger led programs begin late June and run until early part of August.  Most of the programs are 45 minutes in duration and are held at Manzanita Lake, Devasted Area, Summit Lake, Sulphur Works and the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center.  The exact schedule will be published in the park paper ” Peak Experiences” and later in the season can be found on the park website.

To get a head start print the Junior Ranger book now or it can be picked up at either visitor center in the park.  This version of the workbook is special, the front cover was designed by a local school student.

Lassen Park offers the Chipmunk Club for younger children.  The Lassen Volcano Club Card can be fun for all ages. To print the activity sheet.  Resources to help you complete the seven activities.

The National Park System has a way for you to become a Web Ranger from home.  Take a peek at the program now. This program is great for all ages and has interactive games, stories, and puzzles.  It lets you track your progress and earn awards while learning about out National Parks and Monuments.

Please check back often for more updates on special programs and events both at Lassen Park and Northern California near St. Bernard Lodge.  Our events page has other events scheduled in the area.  Room availability is just a click away.  We welcome your phone calls for general information on Lassen Park and the area surrounding St. Bernard Lodge.  Looking forward to hearing from you 530-258-3382.

 

 

Valentine’s Weekend Chilly Chili Cook-off

February 7th, 2014

Join in the fun planned by the Lake Almanor Chamber of Commerce on February 15th, 2014.

Ice Carving

 

Join us for a fairly new event in Chester, the Chilly Chili Cook-off. Talented chili chefs from Plumas County and beyond will be serving some great chili and competing for some great prizes. In 2013, thirteen teams with a wide range of chili recipes competed. This year more teams have already registered.

 

You have until Feb. 8th to register your team at www.lakealmanorarea.com/events.  Entry is free to chamber members and for non-members registration is only 30.00.

The event starts at 1:00 pm and goes until 4 pm at the Almanor Recreation Center. Eight dollars will buy you a tasting kit. Tasting kit includes voting ballots for the Peoples’ Choice Awards, kit also has a 10.00 discount for Coopervale Ski area. Plan on spending the afternoon either showing off your cooking abilities or just tasting some great chili while enjoying live music.

Live music will be provided by Edgewater. The group plays a mix of classic rock and roll, progressive and alternative rock,and rhythm and blues.

A special attraction of ice carving by Tim Carman, a chef from Reno’s El Dorado Hotel and Casino, will be back carving away at three 200-pound blocks of ice into works of art.

St. Bernard Lodge still has rooms available for this weekend.  Book three nights and get 20.00 off third night.

Special Thanksgiving Weekend Packages at the St. Bernard Lodge

November 4th, 2013

Make this Thanksgiving Special!

 

Thanksgiving blessing

If you are looking for a new, no stress tradition for Thanksgiving, plan a two or three night stay with us.

Do you have a large family or group of friends wanting to celebrate Thanksgiving, but don’t have space? Spend Thanksgiving with the people you love, enjoying their company. Eliminate the stress, let us cook and clean for your family and friends.

We have put a special package together for a two or three night stay including Thanksgiving Buffet.

 

3 Night Group Package for Your Thanksgiving Holiday Weekend 

Gather your friends and family for a maximum of 20 guests

Check-in for either:

Wednesday afternoon thru Saturday morning or Thursday afternoon thru Sunday morning.

Package includes:

Private use of the lodge for your entire stay.

Freshly prepared breakfast each morning

Complimentary wine and appetizers each afternoon

Traditional Thanksgiving Buffet on Thursday

“Leftovers Lunch” on Friday, may be served at the lodge or packed to go.

Activities in the area:

Sightseeing in Lassen Volcanic National Park

Merchants Night out and Tree Lighting on Friday

Cutting your Christmas Tree in the Lassen National Forest

Just relaxing at the Lodge With Family and Friends.

Price is 900.00 plus 85.00 per person.

 

thanksgiving                     2 night package for Thanksgiving Weekend

Check-in Wednesday afternoon or Thursday afternoon

 

Private use of the Lodge for your entire stay.

Freshly prepared breakfast each morning

Afternoon wine and appetizers

Traditional Thanksgiving Buffet on Thursday

“Leftovers Lunch” on Friday, may be served at the lodge or packed to go.

Price 800 plus 70 dollars per person.  Maximum 20 overnight guests.

To make your group booking for the Holidays call now! 530-258-3382

 

Veteran’s Day Weekend in the Mountains

November 3rd, 2013

 

Come enjoy Veteran’s Day Weekend at the St. Bernard Lodge

Hike, Shop and take part in a Veteran’s Day Parade

Enjoy Lassen Volcanic National Park with Free Entrance Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  Enjoy a 20 minute movie on Lassen Park at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee visitor center.  Take a hike to Mill Creek Falls, Kings Creek Falls or Bumpass Hell.

After hiking get a head start on your Holiday Shopping in the local shops of Chester and Indian Valley

 Holiday shopping TourHoliday Shopping Tour begins on Friday, November 8th at 10 am and runs through Sunday November 10th.

This year the Holiday Shopping tour includes a themed scavenger hunt.

Visit each stop on the tour to be eligible for Grand Prize Drawing for cash, gift certificate and lodging packages in the area.

This is no stress shopping for the Holidays.  You will find unique gifts and decor.

Visit Greenville for a Veteran’s Day parade at 11 am on Monday.  This is a great time to show your appreciation of our veterans.

After spending the day  hiking and shopping plan on relaxing at the St. Bernard Lodge. Join us for appetizers and wine between 4 and 5 pm, have dinner, relax in the tavern. Have a drink, play a game of pool, darts or cribbage. Spend the night and start the next morning with a hearty breakfast.

 

 

 

 

 

21st Annual Rails to Trails Festival

October 10th, 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013 at the Historic Susanville Railroad Depot.  This year is the Centennial of the Susanville Railroad Depot.

rails-to-trails-festival-susanville
The Rails to Trails Festival and Bizz Johnson Marathon draws guests from all over California and Northern Nevada.
Highlights of the festival include; chili cook-off, salsa contes, live music, rail road handcar races and great food.
This annual event besides being a day of fun, supports Lassen Land and Trails Trusts’s mission to conserve significant natural areas and landcapes and to promote and enhance a system of leading public trails in North Eastern California.
For more details on the days event. Still time to register your team for the handcar races.

 

Bizz Johnson TrailFall colors shoud be at their peak on the Bizz Johnson Trail this weekend.  Bizz Johnson trail is also desingated as a California Watchable Wildlife Spot.

Due to National Park closure the St. Bernard Lodge has rooms available for the weekend. Come spend one or two night with us.  Enjoy the Rails to Trails Festival and then take in the Fall Colors in Plumas County.

 

 

 

GeoTourism Council Great Escape Tour Starts

October 4th, 2013

The “Great Escape Tour” of the Sierra Nevada Region of California and Nevada starts Sunday Oct. 6th and continues thru Oct. 11th.

Nicole, with the Sierra Business Council, will start with a radio spot on KGO. Travel with John Hamilton , Sunday morning at 9:35 am. Tune in and find out where Nicole and Brittany will be heading in the Sierras. Watch the roads and the special places in the Sierras for the campervan pictured below.

Escape Campervans out of San Francisco has donated this van for the Great Escape.

camper vanFollow their journey on the GeoTourism Facebook Page. Make sure to check-in often to see just where the team and van are at and to suggest stops that should not be missed. Nicole and Brittany are looking forward to hearing your suggestions. During the Great Escape they can be contacted via Instagram @sierrageotourism or Twitter @sierratour.

When you spot this van between Oct. 6th- Oct. 11th, it will be the Sierra Nevada GeoCouncil on their “Great Escape Tour”.

After spending the day in Auburn on Sunday the Great Escape team will be spending most of Monday Oct. 7th in Plumas County. Some of the locations you may find them at are heading north on Hwy 70 up the Feather River Canyon. Of course the team will be on the look-out for Fall Colors throughout the area. Leaf peeper reports are on the PlumasCounty.org website.

A few of the stops planned for the day include: Indian Falls along Hwy 89 just north of the Hwy 89/70 junction heading to Taylorsville and then on to the Heart K Ranch in Genesse. Stopping at the Indian Valley Museum and the Cy Hall Museum in Greenville. Checking out Pioneer RV Park and Ada’s Place in Quincy, with various stops in downtown Quincy.

A get together is planned at the Brewing Liar in Blairsden in the late afternoon. Many Plumas County Tourism Council members will be attending along with representatives from TRAC and the Sierra Buttes Trails Stewardship. If in the area please join us at the Brewing Liar to greet the Great Escape Team.

After leaving Plumas County the Great Escape Tour will continue onto Truckee, Tahoe and Western Nv on Tuesday. Plan on spending Wednesday in the Eastern Sierra before heading to the Yosemite Gateway communities on Thursday.  Sonora and the Foothill Communities are planned for Friday, Oct. 11th, before returning the campervan to San Francisco.

Please send in your favorite places to visit along this general route via facebook or twitter.

If you want to join the tour on Monday, when Nicole and Brittany are visiting Plumas County please call Sharon at 530-258-3382 at the St. Bernard Lodge.

To help plan your next great escape to the Sierra Nevada go to: www.SierraNevadaGeotourism.org. During the Great Escape Nicole and Brittany will be posting on http://sierrabusiness.org/whats-new/blog

 

Wine Tasting and Annual Manton Apple Festival

October 2nd, 2013

Manton Apple Festival is the 1st Saturday of October each year. This year it is Saturday Oct. 5th at the Manton School. Festival runs from 9 am to 4pm.

There are over 100 vendors with handmade crafts and food. A range of activities for the whole family; dunking for apples, pie contest, games, live music and much more.  Come join in the fun, proceeds support community projects and scholarships.

While in Manton check-out the local wineries; Alger Vineyards, Cedar Crest Vineyard, Indian Peak Vineyards, Mount Tehama Vineyards,  and Shasta Daisy Vineyards.

From Manton it is a short drive up the hill to St. Bernard Lodge, plan on spending a night at the lodge.  Lassen Volcanic National Park may be closed, but we still have miles of hiking trails. For availability at St. Bernard LOdge

On Sunday enjoy a hike or drive around Plumas County and the Feather River Canyon.  An array of fall color awaits you to discover. Current leaf peeper reports.