What to visit at Lassen Volcanic National Park?
This special place in Northern California is a study in volcanoes. The Park includes four different types of volcanoes: plug-dome volcano (Lassen Peak 10,457 feet), layered stratovolcano, shield volcanoe and cinder cone volcanoes (Cinder Cone 6,907 feet). Almost every hydro thermal volcanic feature is also found here including hissing steam vents, bubbling caldrons of mud, and sulfur fumes. Lassen resides on the rim of the remains of a much lager volcano, Mount Tehama 11,500 feet, that collasped leaving smaller volcanoes around its rim. Please keep in mind that like its Cascade Mountain neighbors, Mt. Lassen is an active volcano . What could happen is evidenced by the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980 when its eruption took off 1300 feet of the top of that volcano. An enormous ash cloud shot up 15 miles into the atmosphere, depositing ash across a dozen states. Massive flooding took place as well. It was all proceeded by a series of earthquakes that did give a warning of what was coming. Mount Lassen has not erupted since 1915. As the southern end of the Cascade Range this Park has many of the same vegetaion (white pine, ponderosa pine, western hemlock, red fir, lodgepole pine) and mammals found in its northern neighbors: black bear, mule deer, beaver, marmot. The Park has several large lakes with excellent fishing.
How to get around?
The Visitor Center is located near the Southern Entrance at Kohm Yah-mah-nee. A Ranger Station is located near the Northern Entrance at Manzanita Lake.
Hiking Lassen Volcanic National Park is a joy on over 150 miles of hiking trails for various abilities. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trial crosses through the Park. See trail map below and check in to the Visitor Center for more extensive trail maps and guides.
How to get to the Park?
ACCESS: Car access is most often through the Southern entrance by California Route 89. There is alternative highway access from the Northwest via California Routes 44 and 89. (see Lassen access Map directions. Unfortunately the Park does not operate a shuttle bus at this time. Amtrak has train service to Redding and you will need a rental car to access the Park.
Where to stay?
ACCOMODATIONS: Camping: The largest Park campgrounds are Manzanita Lake or Butte Lake and both allow reservations during the summer season. Manzanita Lake is the premier site for those entering by the Northern Entrance. Additional camping is available at the Lassen National Forest campgrounds in the areas surrounding Lassen National Park.
Lodges: The only Lodge in the Park is at the Drakesbad Guest Ranch. This is a historic full service hotel. Rooms are in high demand so reservations are required. Private lodging is available outside the Park. A recommendation near the North entrance is Grace Lake Resort , and others in Redding, near the Amtrak station, are Thunderbird Lodge and Oxford Suites .