Rarely crowded, good weather in summer, beautiful scenery, good access to volcanic activity
Closed part of the year because of snow
A great place to day-trip.
Near the western entrance to the park is the trailhead for the Manzanita Lake Trail a 1.5 mile loop around Manzanita Lake. Manzanita Lake was formed about 350 years ago when an unstable edge of the lava dome called Chaos Crags collapsed and boulders blocked Manzanita Creek to form this pretty lake.more
The interpretive trail around the Reflecting Lake and Lily Pond tells the story of the recovery of this area after the 1915 eruptions. Unlike the Devastated Area, which emphasizes the geological aspects of the eruption, this trail emphasizes the botanical and zoological side of the recovery.more
Another of the most interesting attractions in the park is the Devastated Area. This is a part of the valley that was destroyed in the 19 May 1915 eruption of Lassen Peak. A 1/2 mile wide path of lava, melted snow and other debris roared down the mountain, over another ridge, and into Hat Creek Valley. Some of the highlights of the trail through...more
Kings Creek used to be called Hat Creek. It was important to the life of the Atsugewi Indians who inhabited this part of what is now Lassen Volcanic National Park. There is a nice roadside overlook here showing both Kings Creek and the Upper Meadow. This is also the trailhead for the Kings Creek Trails which splits into a horse trail (longer but...more
The three lakes along the Terrace Lakes Trail vary in size, depth and shoreline features. The first one you reach on the trail is the beautiful Terrace Lake; which is about .6 miles roundtrip. The trail between the lakes can get fairly steep then it levels out as you near the lakesmore
Lassen Peak formed some 27,000 years ago as a volcanic vent to the huge Brokeoff Volcano (also called Mount Tehana). It is one of the world's largest plug dome volcanoes rising 2000 feet above the surrounding terrain to an elevation of 10,457 feet. If want a nice photo of Lassen Peak; but you do not have the energy to climb it via the Lassen Peak...more
The yellow pyramid-shaped crystals here are sulfur. This sulfur was formed when the lava rock was dissolved and altered by sulfuric acid. The sulfuric acid is linked to sulfur dioxide gas from the magma that fires Bumpass Hell. You will also notice the rotten egg smell characteristic of Hydrogen Sulfide Gas.more
There is limited food available at both the Manzanita Lake Campground Complex and the Lassen Cafe at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitors Center. I did not try these but I ate at a decent deli called Dill's Deli in Redding; had a very good meal at the Black Bear Diner in Susanville; and had a quick snack at the Shingle Shack Café in Shingletown.
Lassen Volcanic National Park is less than 150 miles from Reno, Nevada. From Reno, take 395 north to Susanville, then head west on highway 44.
Here's the view from a look out near the end of highway 44 coming out of Susanville, California, closing in on Old Station (which does have an advertised 24-hour gas station. The road you can see is actually highway 89, which hooks up to I-5 just south of Weed and Yreka, about 40 miles from the Oregon border.
Lassen Peak is peak with higher elevation, and next to that on viewing right is Chaos Crags.
Lassen's geological attractions are best viewed from the hiking trails and boardwalks. There is really nothing more to see by deviating from the designated hiking routes. And it's certainly not worth the great risk of suffering a grevious injury--especially if you're alone, and far from any help. So play it safe. ALWAYS stay on the trail. And make...more
Summer: Comfortable hiking boots are recommended. There are places you can walk around with very uneven footing (in the landslide area).
Winter: When there is a lot of snow, there are trails you can go skiing. A few miles outside the park, about an hour out of Susanville is a place for snowmachines to have fun as well.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: They have showers for campers, and flush toilets near Lake Manzanita. When fully operational in the summer there is a little store.
Photo Equipment: You really need a camera. Those blues in the water are truly how beautiful it was the day I was there. There wasn't any distortion in the digital camera.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Lots of camping opportunities. Lots of people fishing wearing those inner tubes and chest waders.
Miscellaneous: I saw a gas pump near the little store by Manzanita Lake. I guess it is for park vehicles, and they let the public who didn't come prepared buy from them as well. But in 2004, when everyone is talking about high gasoline costs, you would be well-advised to fill-up prior to driving through Lassen Volcanic National Park.
This is a picture of my father at Lassen in 1942, after he was drafted and sent to Chico Army Air Base in Chico, California.During one of his free days he and my mother took a trip to Lassen National Forest. In 1942 Lassen was not a National Park. In fact it was still recovering from the eruption of the Volcano about 28 years earlier. It would be...more
The last trail I will review is the Ridges Lakes Trail, which follows a creek toward the foot of 9087 foot Mount Diller. This moderate difficulty trail also offers lots of beautiful views. Good walking shoes, water, sunscreen, a hat, insect repellant, a snack, and weather appropriate clothing, don't forget your camera!more
The Bumpass Hell Trail leads to one of the most interesting parts of the park. It is a 3 mile roundtrip trail with a 300 foot elevation gain over rocky terrain. The moderate trail has beautiful views along the way. Make sure you stay on the boardwalk once inside Bumpass Hell for your own protection. Good walking shoes, water, sunscreen, a hat,...more
The Lassen Peak Trail is a 5 mile trail that has a 1957 foot elevation gain as it switchbacks up to the top of Lassen Peak. This is a Very Strenuous Trail. Good walking shoes, water, sunscreen, a hat, insect repellant, a snack, and weather appropriate clothing, don't forget your camera!more
Lassen Peak is one of many active and dormant volcanoes located around the rim of the Pacific Ocean in an area called the "Ring of Fire". Lassen Peak formed around 27,000 years ago as a volcanic vent on the northern side of a much older, much larger volcano called Brokeoff Volcano. The last eruption of Lassen Peak started in 1914 and caused...more
This is a site to see, especially if you have never seen boiling mud and steam vents. The walkways bring you right down on top of the vents. This allows for some great photo ops, with unspoiled backgrounds. You smell the sulfur as you make the approach but quickly forget that its there as you get adjusted to it. We had went to Lassen in June, at...more
I would say my favorite thing about our visit to this park was that we were practically the only people there on July 22nd. This park is billed as one of the least visited National Parks in the United States and that is correct! It has wonderful views of the terminus of the Cascade Mountains. You can have a snowball fight on a hot July Day just a...more