Diverse landscape, crystal clear lakes, spectacular hiking trails, and variety of wildlife, Lassen Volcanic National Park truly has it all…!
|Park||Lassen Volcanic National Park|
|Things to do||Scenic view, Hiking, and many more|
|Hotels near Lassen Volcanic National Park||Timber House Lodge, Traveler’s Motel and many more|
|Camping Locations||Multiple Locations|
Are you planning a trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park in California? If yes, you have found the right travel guide.
In this guide, we’ll share everything you need to know about this hidden beauty of the golden state and share some ideas on how to spend your time there. Let’s begin!
About Lassen Volcanic National Park
This National Park is one of the country’s most underrated yet incredible national parks.
Located near the Northern tip of the Sacramento Valley in California, the park is known for its hypothermal features.
It offers visitors a glimpse of boiling mud pots, bubbling pools, and steaming grounds.
This Park is home to all four types of volcanos found worldwide and provides an excellent opportunity to look back at the region’s volcanic past.
From snowy mountains, forest groves, and meadows to crystal-clear lakes and a lot of wildlife, Lassen Volcanic has it all.
History Of Lassen Volcanic National Park
This National Park boasts a fascinating eruptive history that has played a huge role in reshaping the area’s landscape.
Atsugewi, Maidu, Yahi, Mountain, and Yana Indian tribes inhabited the area until the 19th century.
In the 19th-century, European immigrants used the Lassen Peak as a landmark on their trek to the fertile Sacramento Valley.
One of the guides to the immigrants was the Danish blacksmith Peter Lassen, who settled in the region in the 1830s, and Lassen Peak got named after him.
In 1859, a witness reported seeing fire in the sky from a distance suspecting it to be an eruption in the area of Cinder Cone.
But the geologist concluded that the last eruption happened between 1675 and 1700s.
In May 1907, Lassen Peak and Cinder Cone were declared as National Monuments by President Theodore Roosevelt.
In 1914 the peaceful Lassen’s Peak began making noises, and on June 14 of that year, the Lassen volcano was exploded, blasting the peak wide open.
A series of eruptions fulminated throughout 1916 and even after that in 1917.
To preserve the area’s volcanic beauty, Lassen Peak, Cinder Cone, and the surrounding area were designated as Lassen Volcanic National Park in 1916.
Things To Do In Lassen Volcanic National Park
Whether you are looking for an adventurous hiking experience or want to enjoy the scenic natural beauty, Volcanic National Park offers something for everyone.
Here are five must-see sites in the park:
Admire the breathtaking beauty of Lake Helen, located at the highest point of the park.
The lake sits at 8,200 feet above sea level and makes a perfect spot to enjoy spectacular views of Lassen Peak and the surrounding forest and click some incredible photos.
You can take a drive to the lake and enjoy some phenomenal vistas and fantastic scenery along the route.
To see the beauty of blue waters up-close, you can go on a non-motorized boat ride in the lake and plan a picnic beside the lake.
Take A Hike To Lassen Peak
This Park is one of the largest plug dome volcanos globally, situated at an elevation of 10.400 feet.
The peak was erupted in 1915 and has played a considerable role in shaping the evolving landscape of the park.
Lassen Peak trail begins at the parking area, climbs through twisted mountain hemlock and whitebark pine trees, and steepens into switchbacks along a rocky ridge to the summit.
Once you get to the top, you’ll be rewarded with the most epic view in the park.
Explore Bumpass Hell
Bumpass Hell is the most remarkable hydrothermal feature of this Park that you just can’t miss.
Comprised of 16 acres of boiling springs and mud pots, roaring fumaroles, and hissing steam vents, Bumpass hell was first discovered in the late 1800s.
A 3-mile round trip hike takes you to the concentrated area, where the stunning scenery feels out of this world.
The area features elevated boardwalks that will take you through the turquoise pools of steaming water.
However, the trail is only open in the summer and fall, from June through October.
Spend A Day At Manzanita Lake
Manzanita Lake is one of the top attractions in this Park to spend time with kids and family. Its crystal-clear waters reflecting the coniferous forest surrounding it make it one of the most photographed lakes at the park.
Other than stunning views, the lake offers many activities, including swimming, kayaking, and ranger-led programs.
There’s a small museum in the area featuring Native American artifacts and photos of the Lassen Peak eruption.
Hike Through Stunning Scenery At King’s Creek Falls
Kings Creek Falls is without a question one of the best hikes in the Park.
This gorgeous 30-foot waterfall is located in the middle of the park and offers some spectacular vistas.
The 3-mile-long trail is moderate in difficulty, perfect for casual hikers and even kids.
The trail descends from the road and rambles through a pine forest along the King’s Creek Meadows edge and descending gradually apart from a short steeper section at the cascades.
Depending on the time of year, the trail may feature colorful wildflowers, and you can also encounter wildlife.
Best Time To Visit
June through October is the best time to visit this Park. During these months, roads are open, and snow melts down, allowing you to enjoy many outdoor activities.
Though the park is open for visitors in winter, all roads are closed for car traffic, so it’s better to avoid visiting the park during this time.
Map Of Lassen Volcanic National Park
Don’t forget to download the printable version of this Park area map, as there can be network issues in the park.
Acquaint yourself with all the entry and exit points, top attractions, and visitor centers so you won’t get lost.
Camping In Lassen Volcanic National Park
If you want to wholly immerse in the stunning landscape of the Park, then an overnight stay in one of the many campgrounds of the park is a perfect way to do that.
There are seven developed campgrounds in the park, located in virtually every central area.
All campsites are equipped with picnic tables, bear-resistant lockers, fire rings, spigots, and flush toilets. Visitors must make a reservation in advance through recreation.gov.
Weather Of Lassen Volcanic National Park
Since the Park is situated at medium to a higher elevation, there are generally two main weather conditions:
Summer and Winter. Summers are quite warm and humid, while winters are cold and harsh. Park has the highest level of precipitation due to lack of rain.
Spring and Fall are shoulder seasons with occasional snow, perfect for an epic hiking experience. Make sure to check out the latest weather before visiting the park.
Best Hotels Near Lassen Volcanic National Park
This Park has one lodge inside the park, Drakesh Guest Ranch, located in a great scenic location.
But if you want to stay in a hotel, here are some best options to stay near the park:
Entrance Fee And Passes
The Park charges an entrance fee of $30 per vehicle, $25 per motorcycle, $15 per person, valid for up to 7 consecutive days.
Between December 1 and April 15, the entrance fee for vehicles cuts to $10 due to winter off.
Entry passes can be purchased online or at the park’s entrance stations. Visitors can also purchase the Lassen Annual Pass for $55, valid for one month, or America the Beautiful Pass for free access to more than 2,000 federal recreational including the Park.
Checklist For Things To Bring With You
Here’s a list of clothing, gear, and other essentials you must bring to the Park:
- Extra layers of clothes
- Rain Jacket
- Sleeping Bag
- Sturdy Hiking Boots/ Trainers
- Sunglasses & Sunscreen
- Water and extra food
- Water bottle
- First-aid kit
- Bear Spray
- Map & Compass
Which is a must-visit site in Lassen Volcanic National Park?
One of the must-visit destinations in the park that you shouldn’t miss is Lake Helen. The lake offers unbeatable views and is a perfect spot to stop for a lunch or a family picnic.
How many days are required to Explore Lassen Volcanic National Park?
Ideally, 2-3 days are more than enough to see everything the park has to offer, including Lassen Peak, Cinder cone, and popular hiking trails.
Are there any dangerous animals in Lassen Volcanic National Park?
Many wild animals call Lassen Volcanic National Park their home, especially black bears, have been sighted quite frequently, so make sure to avoid a potential encounter with bears.