People never believe in volcanoes until the lava actually overtakes them.George Santayana
About the Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park is tucked away in the beautiful wilderness of Northern California and is home to steaming fumaroles, boiling mud pots, and numerous volcanoes. Lassen Peak is the park’s centerpiece and the largest plug dome volcano in the world.
Check out the view from the top of Lassen Peak!
Live it up!
Best Things to do in the Park
- Climb Lassen Peak, one of the largest plug dome volcanoes in the world. It was the highlight of our trip there with amazing 360 degree views
- Hike to the largest geothermal area of the park called Bumpass Hell
- Go stargazing in another wonderful dark sky area
- See the turquoise waters of Lake Helen
- Take the 30-mile Scenic Drive on the eastern side of the park
- Go for a horseback ride at a guest ranch
John woke one morning before the sun came up to hike to Lassen Peak. It was summer, but the snow was still on the ground. From the top of the 10,457-foot volcano, there were views in all directions, including Mt. Shasta. Bev enjoyed the lower levels with the beautiful lake.
Size of Park
There are 4 types of volcanoes found in the world and Lassen Volcanic National Park has all of them. They are shield, plug dome, cinder cone and composite.
Lassen Volcanic National Park is a stunning area in northern California, located about 50 miles east of Redding. The park is home to all four types of volcanoes, including the famous Lassen Peak, the largest plug-dome volcano in the world. The park was established in 1916 and is known for its fascinating geothermal features, including boiling mud pots, steaming fumaroles, and many hot springs. It is also home to a stunning array of wildlife, including black bears, mountain lions, mule deer, and many different species of birds. With its unique and beautiful landscapes, Lassen Volcanic National Park is a fantastic place to explore and experience nature.
It is also home to scenic lakes like the Manzanita, Summit, and Helen and several hydrothermal areas like Bumpass Hell and Sulphur Works.
Best Hikes in Lassen Volcanic
Lassen Peak trail is situated near Mineral California and takes over three and a half hours to complete the roundtrip. The roundtrip is 8.2 km long and starts at the parking lot in Lassen National Park. The climb to the summit of Lassen Peak is quite steep. However, even though the hike can be arduous, the views make all the toil worth it. This trail is one of the most popular destinations in the park because of its spectacular views and the bragging rights one gets for the rest of their life after climbing this active volcano.
Situated near Old Station, California, this 3.1-km loop trail showcases some of the park’s most unique features, including the snow-covered Lassen Peak and the Chaos Crags massif. It takes just over half an hour to compete and is a popular area for bird watching, camping, and fishing. Manzanita Lake Loop is not only popular among hikers and backpackers, but it also attracts a large number of fishing enthusiasts that visit in search of rainbow, brown, and brook trout.
Devil’s Kitchen Trail is 7.4 km long out-and-back and is considered a moderately challenging route. However, it takes just under 2 hours to complete and is one of the most popular areas for hiking in Lassen National Park which means it will stay quite busy throughout the day.
Devil’s Kitchen Trail will take you through a series of footbridges, boardwalks, and a hydrothermal area where you can see Hot Springs Creek and Devil’s Kitchen Itself. Boiling mud pots, steam vents, milky creeks, and boiling springs are common features of the Devil’s Kitchen, hence the name.
This 11.1-km out-and-back trail takes over four and a half hours to complete and is quite popular for bird watching, camping, and hiking. Visitors often ignore the Bake Off Mountain trail as everyone wants to summit the Lassen Peak; however, if you are short on time or don’t want to make the challenging hike through the Lassen Peak trail, the Bake Off Mountain trail is a great alternative.
Although Brokeoff Mountain Trail is much easier than the Lassen Peak trail, it is still moderately challenging. However, from the top, you can witness some of the park’s best views, including great views of Lassen Peak.
Camping in the Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park has seven campgrounds; however, Southwest Walk-in Campground is the only one that stays open throughout the year. The rest of the campgrounds are open from May/June to September/October; however, opening and closing dates can vary depending on the amount of snowfall the park gets during the winter and other weather conditions.
Some campgrounds require a reservation, which can be made on the day of arrival. However, keep in mind that you will have to make your reservation online, and the internet service inside the park can be quite poor, so it is best to get a reservation before arriving. Here are some of the most popular campgrounds in Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Situated near the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, Southwest Walk-In Campground is only accessible by a short walk from the parking area. No reservation is needed; you will get a spot on a first-come-first-serve basis. The facilities here are limited as there is no electricity, water hookups, or dump stations.
Despite limited facilities, this campground remains one of the most popular camping sites in the park as it stays open year-round and is within proximity to the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center.
Situated in the northwest corner of the park, Manzanita Lake Campground is just south of the Loomis Ranger Station near the Manzanita Lake Entrance. Be sure to get an online reservation beforehand, as same-day reservations can be challenging. There are 179 campsites with flush toilets and showers. Manzanita Lake Campground is a great recreation spot, as it offers plenty of activities, including swimming and kayaking at Manzanita Lake.
Located in the northeast corner of the park, the Butte Lake Campground has great hiking spots and plenty of other activities, including swimming and kayaking. It is situated in one of the more secluded parts of the park, which means it stays quiet and peaceful throughout the day. It has 101 campsites in total, but no electricity or water hookup exists.
This geological wonder once dwarfed all the neighboring volcanoes with an elevation of 11,000 feet. However, after thousands of years of eruption, the magma chamber ran dry, and the volatile life of this volcano came to an end. Due to centuries of wind, water, and glacial erosion, all that remains are a few portions of the left flank of this once mighty volcanic mountain. The remnants of Mount Tehama make small secondary peaks that are the largest and most iconic features of the Lassen Volcanic National Park and deserve a visit on your trip there.
Devil’s Kitchen is one of the three largest geothermal areas in the park and is one of the least frequented parts due to its remote location. Containing a diverse range of geothermal attractions, Devil’s Kitchen is known for its unique combination of harsh terrain and lush forests. Explore this rugged wonder when visiting the Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Stretching over 500 feet wide, Boiling Springs Lake is one of the largest boiling lakes in the world. Cloudy greenish, this lake keeps bubbling and fizzing endlessly and is surrounded by several mud pots and steam vents. A visit to the boiling spring lake will make you feel like you are on a different planet.
Standing tall with an elevation of 10,400 feet, Lassen peak is one of the largest plug dome volcanoes in the whole world. It is the principal attraction of Lassen Volcanic National Park. It is commonly known as Mount Lassen and is the southernmost active volcano in the Western United States Cascade Range. Take the Lassen Peak trail to get to the peak’s summit, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the park.
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