Without a doubt, Lassen Volcanic National Park is a strange and wild area. Where else can you go from hot fumaroles and smouldering mud plots to idyllic alpine landscapes with a simple hike? Where else on this side of Chile can you struggle up Cinder Cone scree slopes by day and stare into some of the finest night skies? Lassen Volcanic National Park, which has more geothermal locations than you can swing a copy of Dante’s Peak at (Pierce Brosnan, good film), is frequently cited as a viable alternative to Yellowstone. But there’s a lot more to it than that. This famous US national park, which stretches from the end of the Sierra Nevada to the beginning of the magnificent Cascade Range, offers long-distance trekking paths that take you past some of California’s most iconic mountains. That’s only scratching the surface of what makes Lassen Volcanic National Park one of our favorite California national parks.
Where is Lassen Volcanic National Park?
Lassen Volcanic National Park is located in a wonderfully beautiful part of California. It can be found at the end of the Sacramento Valley in Northern California, rolling down the Sierra Nevada’s top end into the magnificent Cascade Range. The Nevada border is 65 miles to the east of the park’s centre. Eureka, 152 miles to the west, is the closest Pacific coastline town. 500 miles south is Death Valley National Park, the hottest and driest place in the United States.
Best Time to Visit
If you look at photos of the park, you’ll note that it gets a lot of snow. Because road restrictions are possible, I’d suggest visiting in the late spring or early fall if you plan to trek. Some hiking pathways are adjacent to snow dangers, and the NPS website keeps track of this.
Opening hours will not be a problem. The snow, on the other hand, may obstruct access. From November to March, harsh winter conditions make most of Lassen inaccessible to all but the most daring adventurers. After that, go to the National Park Service website to see which roads are open and which are still waiting for the thaw. The weather has an impact on the immersive Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, although it is open year-round from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Park Entrance Fee
To see the beauties of Lassen, you’ll need to pay some dollar bills unless you’re under the age of 16 or have an America the Beautiful Pass. It’s not excessive. For $25, vehicles can park for up to seven days. Hikers and bikers pay only $12 to enter. In the winter, the cost of an automobile reduces to $10. For a fixed fee of $50, an annual pass is also available.
The changing of the seasons in Lassen Volcanic National Park is defined by the falling and melting of snows. It’s not uncommon to observe a snowpack of two metres or more in the park’s higher elevations (over 8,000 feet). All of this happens at its peak between November and March, effectively closing all highways and access points (apart from a few cross-country skiing routes). That is why the majority of people come throughout the summer. The summer months, from June through August, are usually the greatest.
Lassen Volcanic National Park Hiking Trails
Pacific Crest Trail
Cinder Cone Trail
Brokeoff Mountain Trail
Cold Boiling Lake Trail
Manzanita Lake Trail
Bumpass Hell Trail
Crystal Lake Trail
Butte Lake Trail
Lassen Peak Trail
Snag Lake Loop
Lassen Volcanic National Park Landmarks
Kings Creek Falls
Where to Stay
There are a few lodging alternatives in the vicinity for your stay. We went with Outdoorsy to rent a Westfalia. It was an amazing experience and a fantastic way to see the park. The Westfalia provided us with the benefit of having a kitchen/fridge with us at all times. Mill Creek Resort Campground, Manzanita Lake Campground, Highlands Ranch Resort are the best places to stay there.