Planning a trip to Northern California? Check out this Lassen Volcanic National Park Travel Guide before you go!
In the far Northeastern corner of California lies Lassen Volcanic National Park, one of the Most Incredible National Parks in the country!
The southernmost volcano in the Cascade Mountains, Lassen Peak underwent a series of eruptions from 1914 – 1918, dramatically changing the area around the mountain. The park is home to over 300 volcanic domes, snowy mountains, old growth forests, waterfalls, bubbling sulphur pots and rugged rocky volcanic terrain. There is so much to see and do at this commonly overlooked California destination!
So whether you’re looking for a fun weekend getaway, or you want to visit Lassen as part of a Road Trip down the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, this Lassen Volcanic National Park Travel Guide is the comprehensive resource you’ll want on hand for exploring the area!
Here’s everything you need to know BEFORE you go…
Lassen Volcanic National Park Travel Guide
Lassen Volcanic National Park Travel Guide – Things to do:
#1: Manzanita Lake Trail
This flat, 1.5 mile loop meanders around Manzanita Lake, at the Northern end of the park. You can catch it from the Loomis Museum or Manzanita Campground. You’ll be rewarded with great views of Mount Lassen and the Chaos Crags reflected in the water!
#2: Loomis Museum
This museum, right by Manzanita Lake, was named after B. F. Loomis, who photographed Mount Lassen’s series of eruptions. Here you can see photographs of how the eruption turned forested hills into volcanic wasteland, sprayed ash all over Northern California, and more!
#3: Devastated Area Loop Trail
If you want to see exactly how Mount Lassen’s eruptions affected the area, then you should definitely go hike the Devastated Area Loop Trail. It’s an easy flat, half-mile roundtrip trail that showcases some ginormous volcanic rocks, not to mention great views of Mount Lassen.
#4: Lassen Peak Trail
If you’re up for a challenge, there’s no better hike than climbing up to Lassen Peak! The trailhead starts at 8,500 feet, and eventually reaches the summit, at 10,457 feet – so about a 2,000 foot elevation gain. The trail is 5 miles roundtrip, so give yourself a few hours. The views from the top are simply incredible!
#5: Bumpass Hell Trail
If you want to see Lassen’s hydrothermal wonders up close, there’s no better place than the Bumpass Hell Trail! It’s a 3 mile roundtrip hike that drops 300 feet into a huge area with some of the largest steam vents in the world!
#6: Sulphur Works
Sulphur Works is about a mile up the road from the Kohm Yah-Mah-Nee Visitor Center, where you can see some boiling pots and steaming vents that reek a very putrid smell! If you can’t make it to Bumpass Hell, this is a good alternative. Just be sure to plug your nose!
#7: Mill Creek Falls Trail
The hike to Mill Creek Falls is 2.8 miles roundtrip and fairly flat through the woods, although it crosses streams on a couple of occasions. Mill Creek Falls is the tallest waterfall in the park at about 75 feet, and all around a lovely spot!
Lassen Volcanic National Park Travel Guide – Nearby Destinations:
#8: Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway Road Trip
While Lassen is an incredible destination in itself… did you know that it happens to be on the southern end of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, one of the most incredible Road Trips in America?
Along this 250 mile drive, you’ll start out at Lassen’s Kohm Yah-Mah-Nee visitor center, driving North through the park. Then, after leaving the park, continue northwards and stop at the Subway Cave Lava Tubes, an underground cave formed by lava flow!
After that, continue up to McArthur-Burney Falls and Lake Britton, enjoying the thundering falls and beautiful scenery.
Later, continue upwards to Lava Beds National Monument. Along the way, you’ll be rewarded with terrific views of the snowcapped Mount Shasta to the West. Now, Lava Beds is home to some of the most bizarre, yet interesting volcanic terrain in the country. Here you can hike through lava caves, see cinder cone volcanoes, and more!
And finally, the last stretch is continuing north into Oregon and finishing at Crater Lake National Park, a huge volcano that filled up with water, and is now one of the deepest lakes in the world! If you can, try to get up at sunrise to see the lake – it’s incredible!
You can check out the official site Here.
Lassen Volcanic National Park Travel Guide – Budget Tips, What to Bring, and More
If you don’t live near Lassen, fly into the close airline hubs of Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, or Reno. Earn some Free Southwest Airlines Gift Cards and Free Delta Gift Cards to save money on airfare. From those cities, you’re only a few hours from Lassen!
When to Visit Lassen:
The Lassen Park Road is closed usually from the first snowfall, around mid October, to mid-to-late June, or rarely, early July. Summertime is really the only feasible time to visit if you want to hike and road trip through the park.
Lassen Volcanic National Park Travel Guide – What to Bring:
So, now to the essentials! If you’re going to do any hiking whatsoever, you’ll need to bring some sturdy hiking shoes. Also, Lassen’s extremely high elevation means the weather changes fast – so stay warm with a fleece and dry from the thunderstorms with a rain jacket.
The sun can be pretty intense during the summer months, so don’t forget a pair of sunglasses. Also, don’t forget – a hiking daypack is your best friend while hiking. In it you’ll carry your camera, fleece, rain jacket, and other belongings. And last, bring a National Geographic Lassen map. It’s highly detailed with all of the trails, and is waterproof and tear-resistant.
If you’re wondering how to do California in 2 weeks, you’ve come to the right place! This California Road Trip Itinerary from San Francisco to Los Angeles will show you the best of what the state has to offer in just 14 days.
Whether you want to relax on the beach, see the iconic sights, or indulge in the delicious cuisine, any visit to San Diego is an amazing Bucket List Trip in itself! No matter what your budget is, this San Diego Travel Guide is your go-to resource for exploring the city.
My 14 day American Southwest Road Trip Itinerary has the perfect mix of the region’s iconic sights as well as some hidden gems that are commonly overlooked. Having visited this region countless times, I’ve also compiled the best ways to save money on your trip, as well as tips on when you should visit and what you should bring!
This comprehensive Las Vegas Budget Travel Guide will show you the best free or cheap family friendly things to do + nearby destinations for your visit. You’ll learn the best budget tips, what to bring, when to visit, and the top free things to do!
Now, if you’re wondering how to do a cross country road trip cheap, I’ve compiled my top tips to Road Trip on a Budget. Isn’t it time to make your dream trip come true? Whether you’re traveling in your car or RV, road tripping is the best to travel America on a budget.
If you’re not quite decided on where to go, don’t worry! Based on the places I’ve visited, these Bucket List Trips will show you what I believe are some of the most incredible destinations across America and around the globe!
So now that you’ve seen this Lassen Volcanic National Park Travel Guide, don’t miss out any longer! Follow along with Never Ending Journeys for more fun Travel Tips and Inspiration!
Have YOU ever been to Lassen?
So, what is your favorite part of this Lassen Volcanic National Park Travel Guide, and what are your favorite things to do there?
Leave a comment & share!