The Ultimate Guide to Lassen Volcanic National Park

The Ultimate Guide to Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park is a true wonderland for nature lovers. Situated in Northeastern California, the park offers stunning hiking and backpacking opportunities, wildlife watching, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing. You can participate in ranger-led programs, learn about the volcanoes in the park, and check out the magical geysers and sulfur ponds.

Lassen Volcanic National Park has pretty much everything you need. Yet it’s still fairly underrated as many people choose to visit Yosemite or Yellowstone National Parks instead. And I think it’s great as it allows you to spend more quality time in the wild without the crowds. 

In this guide, I will cover everything you need to know for an amazing wild getaway to Lassen Volcanic National Park.

About Lassen Volcanic National Park 

Lassen Volcanic National Park started as two separate National Monuments, designated by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907. Due to the active volcanic activity and uniqueness, Roosevelt declared the area a National Park in 1916. 

The most iconic and famous highlight of Lassen National Park is the Lassen Peak. It is the largest plug dome volcano in the world. Lassen Peak got its name from a Danish immigrant named Peter Lassen, a blacksmith, who settled in Northern California in 1830. 

Lassen National Park is one of a few places on earth where you can find all four types of volcanoes: shield, cinder cone, plug dome, and stratovolcano. The region has remained silent for over 100 years. But the steaming vents, boiling springs, and other activity prove that this volcanic area is still active. Scientists are uncertain when it will erupt again. But there is a lot of historic evidence that documented volcanic eruptions in the area fairly recently. 

Old newspaper reports suggest that there was a major eruption in the middle of the 19th century. While volcanologist studies confirmed a big eruption which occurred in 1666. From 1914 to 1921, a series of minor and major eruptions have been documented in Lassen. Fortunately, due to timely warnings, no people had been injured. 

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Lassen Volcanic National Park Weather

The weather at Lassen Volcanic National Park is usually divided into the winter season and summer. November to May is considered to be the winter season at Lassen, while June to October is considered to be the summer. 

July and August are the two months with the highest average maximum temperature, while January and February are the two with the lowest average temperature. Springtime and fall are the shoulder seasons when you can usually expect more rain showers and snowstorms. 

If you’re planning on choosing the best time to come to Lassen Volcanic National Park, first, you need to consider what you’re going to do there. Summer is a great time for lake activities, such as kayaking, fishing, or swimming. It’s also great for hiking and backpacking. Wintertime in Lassen is perfect if you love snowshoeing, sledding or cross-country skiing. The shoulder season in Lassen National Park is also great for hiking. And even though there’s more chance of rainfall and snowstorms, there are fewer people on the trails. 

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Getting to Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Peak in the distance

Flying to Lassen Volcanic National Park

If you’re flying to Lassen Volcanic National Park, there are three airports you can consider:

  • Reno, Nevada – takes just under 3 hours to drive to the park from the airport.
  • Sacramento, California – takes around 2:45 hours to drive from Sacramento International Airport.
  • Redding, California – takes only under one and a half hours to get to Lassen from the airport in Redding. 

If you’re looking to rent a car for your trip, consider Rentalcars.com, who work with all the major car rental companies in these three locations.

Driving to Lassen 

If you’re driving, you can get to Lassen Volcanic National Park via Highway 44 from the north or Highway 36 from the south. There are two dead-end roads from the southeast and one from the northeast that takes you only to certain areas in the park. 

Check the road conditions before your journey, especially during the low season. Some roads are closed for the winter, while others may be closed due to snowstorms or other weather conditions. 

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Lassen Volcanic National Park Map

Lassen Volcanic National Park Map

This is the map of Lassen Volcanic National Park. Click the link to open or download a detailed PDF version of the map.

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Things to Do in Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park Hikes

Lassen Volcanic National Park has miles of great hiking trails. From easy strolls to strenuous mountain climbs – you can find it all. Visit the sulphur ponds, the famous volcanos or go for a great walk around the lake. 

Best hikes in Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Peak
Lassen Peak

1. Lassen Peak Trail: Lassen Peak trail is often referred to as the best hike in the park in general. Although everyone loves different things from their hike, Lassen Peak is one you can’t miss. It takes you to the top of the main highlight of the park – Lassen Volcano. 

The hike itself isn’t too diverse. There’s a lot of switchbacks up the naked mountain, but the views at the top are worth every drop of sweat.

Trail length: 5 mi / 8.05 km round-trip.
Trail type: out-and-back.
Duration: 3-5 hours.
Elevation gain: 2000 ft / 600 m (steep).
Hike level: strenuous. 
Lassen Peak hiking guide

Cinder Cone Volcano
Cinder Cone Volcano

2. Cinder Cone Trail: Cinder Cone trail is another popular day hike in Lassen. Similarly to Lassen Peak, the trail starts with a gentle walk, but then it becomes a lot steeper. The trail takes you through the beautiful Painted Dunes to the Cinder Cone Volcano. On this trail, you are rewarded with beautiful views of the Fantastic Lava Beds, Lassen Peak, Snag Lake, and the Prospect Peak. 

Trail length: 4 mi / 6.44 km round-trip.
Trail type: loop.
Duration: 3 hours.
Elevation gain: 846 ft / 257 m.
Hike level: moderate. 
Cinder Cone Trail guide

3. Butte Lake Trail: Butte Lake Trail is an easy hike that takes you around the stunning blue Butte Lake. You will follow the shore around the lake, and walk under the tree shade. This hike can be a nice walk after a long hike, or one to explore during a resting day.

Trail length: 4 mi / 6.44 km round-trip.
Trail type: loop.
Duration: 2-4 hours.
Elevation gain: n/a.
Hike level: easy. 

Painted Dunes, Lassen Volcanic National Park
Painted Dunes

4. Bumpass Hell: Bumpass Hell is one of the more popular trails in Lassen Volcanic National Park. It takes you through the largest hydrothermal area in the park. The place got its name from Kendall Bumpass, who accidentally stepped through the crust into the boiling pool and severely burned his leg. 

The hike takes you to an overlook where you will be able to see the eroded rim Brokeoff Volcano, now called Mt Tehama. Although the hike passes some dangerous hydrothermal objects, it is fairly safe, as you follow a wooden path through the basin area of Bumpass Mountain. Leaving the wooden path is not allowed and you are responsible for your own safety. 

Trail length: 2.5 mi / 4.6 km round-trip.
Trail type: out-and-back.
Duration: 2 hours.
Elevation: 300 ft / 91 m elevation change.
Hike level: moderate. 
Bumpass Hell Trail Guide

Wonderful Mt Shasta
Mount Shasta

5. Brokeoff Mountain Trail: the Brokeoff Mountain Trail is one of the best in Lassen Volcanic National Park. The hike takes you through open meadows and beautiful forests. As you ascend above the treeline, you will see breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

But the best rewards wait at the top. Here, you should be able to see the wonderful Mt Shasta, Lassen Peak, Chaos Crag, Mt Diller, and many other mountains in the area. You will also be able to see the remains of the caldera of Brokeoff Volcano. 

Trail length: 7.4 mi / 11.91 km round-trip.
Trail type: out-and-back.
Duration: 6 hours.
Elevation gain: 2582 ft / 787 m.
Hike level: strenuous. 
Brokeoff Mountain Trail Guide

6. Boiling Springs Lake & Devil’s Kitchen: this hike takes you through the second-largest hydrothermal area in the park. You will pass beautiful meadows, walk through the forest, and use the footbridges to cross some streams. This hike will also take you through hissing and plopping grounds. You will experience steam rising from the cracks under your feet and other spectacular hydrothermal activities. 

Trail length: 4.6 mi / 7.4 km round-trip.
Trail type: out-and-back.
Duration: 2-3 hours.
Elevation gain: 616 ft / 187 m.
Hike level: easy-moderate. 
Boiling Springs Lake & Devil’s Kitchen Trail Guide.

Ridgeline

7. Terrace, Shadow & Cliff Lakes: this hike is an easy trail that allows you to experience three beautiful lakes without too much effort. This trail is especially popular with photographers as it takes you through a diverse and colorful nature scene. It’s also a great trail to try and spot some of the park’s wildlife.

Trail length: 3.3 mi / 5.31 km round-trip.
Trail type: out-and-back.
Duration: 3 hours.
Elevation gain: 725 ft / 221 m.
Hike level: easy. 
Terrace, Shadow & Cliff Lakes Trail Guide

8. Manzanita Lake Trail: Manzanita Lake trail is an easy hike that takes you around the beautiful Manzanita Lake. This hike is perfect for the whole family, or to add after a more strenuous hike. It’s great for a hot day as it has a lot of shade you can hide from the sun. The trail is also great for wildlife lovers as the lake is home to numerous species of birds, beavers, and muskrats. 

Trail length: 1.5 mi / 2.41 km round-trip.
Trail type: out-and-back.
Duration: 1-2 hours.
Elevation gain: n/a.
Hike level: easy.  
Manzanita Lake Trail Guide

9. Ridge Lakes Trail: the Ridge Lakes Trail takes you up on a steep hike on a forested ridge. The trail leads you to the two stunning lakes that are located between Brokeoff Mountain and Mt Diller. Although short, the hike is steep and challenges you with an intense ascend within a short period. 

Trail length: 2 mi / 3.2 km round-trip.
Trail type: out-and-back.
Duration: 3-5 hours.
Elevation gain: 987 ft / 300 m.
Hike level: moderate. 
Ridge Lakes Trail Guide

10. Kings Creek Falls hike: the first part of the Kings Creek Falls hike passes through the Lower Kings Creek Meadow and then takes you to the Upper Cascades where it slowly descends to the stunning Kings Creek Falls. You will reach an overlook where you can gaze at the amazing 30-foot (9.1 m) waterfall. This hike is a great way to see some of the park’s stunning flora, like the Satin-leaf Lupines and Fawn Lilies. 

Trail length: 2.7 mi / 4.35 km round-trip.
Trail type: loop.
Duration: 2 hours.
Elevation gain: 472 ft / 144 m.
Hike level: moderate. 
Kings Creek Falls Trail Guide

Geysers at Lassen Volcanic National Park
Geysers

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Backpacking in Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park has some great backpacking trails as well. Some of the trails can also be connected, so you could extend the regular day hike and make it into a great backpacking trip. For information on where to camp in the wilderness, check out the wilderness camping section of this guide. 

Some great backpacks in Lassen Volcanic National Park

Snag Lake, Widow Lake, and Jakey Lake
Distance: 17 mi / 27.3 km
Recommended days: 2-3
Difficulty: moderate
Type: loop
Backpacking Trail guide

Nobles Emigrant Trail
Distance: 13.2 mi / 21.2 km
Recommended days: 2
Difficulty: moderate
Type: point-to-point
Backpacking Trail guide

Summit, Horseshoe, Snag, Cinder Cone, Rainbow, Twin, and Echo Lakes Loop
Distance: 25.9 mi / 41.7 km
Recommended days: 3-4
Difficulty: moderate
Type: loop.
Backpacking Trail guide

Forests and Meadows in Lassen Park

Juniper Lake, Cinder Cone, Butte Lake, Widow Lake, Red Cinders Loop
Distance: 23.8 mi / 38 km
Recommended days: 2-4
Difficulty: moderate
Type: loop
Backpacking Trail guide

Lassen Volcanic National Park also falls on one of the sections of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). A 17-mile (27 km) trail crosses through the national park and extends even more within the Lassen National Forest. You can check out more about this part of the PCT here

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Wildlife Watching in Lassen Volcanic National Park

Chipmunks in Lassen

Lassen Volcanic National Park draws many nature lovers each year. Whether you are a bird watcher or a casual hiker who loves animals roaming nearby, Lassen is a great place for you.

Lassen Volcanic National Park isn’t big compared to some more popular national parks, but the chances of seeing wildlife are still slim. And it’s because wild animals try to avoid people as much as possible. So no one can guarantee that you will spot some animals around you. But with so many species living in the park, the chances are pretty high.

The best way to find out more about wildlife spotting opportunities is to ask the National Park Service staff members. They might give you some hints on the best trails or lakes you might be able to see wildlife. 

Backpacking is also a good activity to increase your chances to see animals. As you leave the more visited areas and submerge into the deeper wilderness, where more animals roam around. Lakes are great spots to look for birds, both water birds and prey birds that hunt on them. 

Always remember to keep your distance from the wildlife, never feed it and leave it alone. Humans might cause animals to stress, which can impact their behavior. So enjoy the wildlife from afar.

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Biking in Lassen Volcanic National Park

Biking is another great activity you can do in Lassen Volcanic National Park. Although biking on the trails is prohibited, you can enjoy riding your bikes on the park roads. This is a great way to enjoy the highlights of the park at a good pace, allowing you to absorb more than when riding in a car, and reach further than while hiking. If you’re planning on riding a bike in Lassen National Park, consider the NPS biking regulations.

In 2019, Lassen Volcanic National Park also permitted the use of electric bikes. The same biking regulations apply for electric bike users. 

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Fishing in Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcano, Lake

The park is known for its great fishing opportunities. Some of the more popular places for fishermen in Lassen Volcanic National Park are Snag Lake, Horseshoe Lake, and Butte Lake. These lakes are habitats of various species of trout. 

Grassy Swale Creek and Kings Creek are two other popular areas for fishing and also have various species of trout. But the most popular nationally known destination for fishermen is Manzanita Lake. Manzanita Lake has a lot of brown trout and rainbow trout. It’s also rated as a blue ribbon fly fishery by California’s Department of Fish and Game. 

Only catch and release fishing is allowed at Manzanita Lake. Bait like salmon eggs, worms, or power bait is prohibited.

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Wildlife in Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to 216 species of birds, 57 species of mammals, 6 species of amphibians, 6 species of reptiles, and numerous species of fish. 

Birds at Lassen Volcanic National Park

Out of the 216 species of birds, 96 species are local and breed in the park itself. Some of the more known species are red-tailed hawks, bald eagles, Cooper’s hawks, barn owls, great horned owls, blue goose, mallards, various species of hummingbirds, merlins, peregrine falcons, American kestrels, wild turkeys, and northern harriers.

Mammals at Lassen Volcanic National Park

Black Bear, Lassen
Black Bear at Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to mammals like the American black bear, mountain lion, fox, American marten, ringtail, bobcat, coyote, raccoon, weasel, and skunk.

Other mammals in Lassen National Park include American badger, snowshoe hare, chipmunks, different species of mice, mule deer, squirrels, gophers, and bats.

Reptiles and Amphibians at Lassen National Park

Reptiles that can be encountered in Lassen are sagebrush lizards, the Northern and Southern alligator lizards, rubber boa snake, Western terrestrial garter snake, common garter snake, and the striped whipsnake. 

Lassen is also home to amphibians like the rough-skinned newt, salamanders, the western toad, the ubiquitous Pacific treefrog, and the Cascades frog. 

Fish at Lassen National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park’s native fish species include the Tahoe sucker, rainbow trout, speckled dace, tui chub, and Lahontan redside. Non-native species that were also detected in the park are the golden shiner, the fathead minnow, the Brown trout, and the Brook trout.

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Lassen Volcanic National Park Camping

Lassen Volcanic National Park has some amazing options for those who enjoy camping. Whether you’re a fan of the front country camping or you prefer to pitch a tent out in the wild, you can find it in Lassen.  

Boiling Steam

Frontcountry Camping in Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park has 8 front country campgrounds. Each of them is different and has its pros and cons. Here, you can find more details about each campground in the park.

  • Manzanita Lake Campground. Manzanita Lake campground is one of the most popular campsites in Lassen Volcanic National Park, especially for families with children. Located just a mile away from Manzanita Lake Entrance, this site is a perfect location for those, who enjoy swimming, fishing, hiking, and kayaking. It’s great for RV camping and trailers. 
    Open season: from around 22nd of May to the 16th of November. Loops C and D close around the 13th of October.
    Reservations: Loops A and C are reservable and B and D are walk-in campsites. 
    Fee: USD$26 per night (USD$15 when there’s no water). 
    Max. RV length: 40 ft.
    Max. trailer length: 40 ft.
    Restrooms: Flush toilets (after 15th Oct – vault toilets).
    Water: Potable (until 15th Oct).
    Food storage: food locker.
    Dump station: available.
    Amenities: coin-operated laundromat, coin-operated showers, camper store, gift shop, kayak rentals.
    Pets: allowed.
  • Butte Lake Campground. Butte Lake Campground is located in the northeast corner of the park and is a great location to explore the Cinder Cone volcano – the youngest volcano in Lassen. It has fewer amenities than Manzanita Lake Campground, but its location is great for many outdoor recreation activities.
    Open season: the 5th of June till around the 20th of October.
    Reservations: group sites in Loop B. 
    Fee: USD$22 per night (USD$15 off-peak season). 
    Max. RV length: 35 ft Loop A and 40 ft Loop B.
    Max. trailer length: 35 ft Loop A and 40 ft Loop B.
    Restrooms: Flush toilets & vault toilets.
    Water: until the 10th of September.
    Food storage: food locker.
    Dump station: not available.
    Amenities: none.
    Pets: allowed.
  • Volcano Adventure Camp. Volcano Adventure Camp is a youth camping facility, that provides recreation and camping opportunities for youth organizations, and other educational groups.
  • Juniper Lake Campground. Juniper Lake Campground is located on the east shore of Juniper Lake – the biggest lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park. This campsite is the perfect location for kayaking, swimming, relaxing on the beach, and some great hiking opportunities.
    Open season: from the 6th of June till around the 6th of October.
    Reservations: only by walk-in. 
    Fee: USD$12 per night. 
    Max. RV length: not suitable for RVs.
    Max. trailer length: not suitable for trailers.
    Restrooms: pit toilets.
    Water: no potable water.
    Food storage: food locker.
    Dump station: not available.
    Amenities: none.
    Pets: allowed.
Lassen Volcano
Lassen Volcano
  • Summit Lake North. Summit Lake North Campground is located on the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway road – the main road in the park. It’s walking distance from the scenic Summit Lake and only 8 miles from the main highlight of the park – Lassen Peak.
    Open season: from the 26th of June till around the 29th of September.
    Reservations: reservations for Loop B, C, and D are available. Loops A and E are walk-in only.
    Fee: USD$24 per night. 
    Max. RV length: 35 ft.
    Max. trailer length: 35 ft.
    Restrooms: flush toilets.
    Water: potable water.
    Food storage: food locker.
    Dump station: not available.
    Amenities: none.
    Pets: allowed.
  • Summit Lake South Campground. Summit Lake South Campground is located on the southern shore of Summit Lake. This campground is more secluded than Summit Lake North and is also only 8 miles away from Lassen Peak. 
    Open season: from the 26th of June till around the 29th of September.
    Reservations: reservations for Loop B, C, and D are available. Loops A and E are walk-in only.
    Fee: USD$22 per night. 
    Max. RV length: not suitable for RVs.
    Max. trailer length: not suitable for trailers.
    Restrooms: pit toilets.
    Water: potable water.
    Food storage: food locker.
    Dump station: not available.
    Amenities: none.
    Pets: allowed.
  • Southwest Walk-in Campground. Southwest walk-in campground is located near the park’s southwest entrance. It’s a little bit further of a drive to a few of the highlights in the park, but it’s tucked away in a beautiful old forest that provides plenty of privacy and shade. This campground is also used as an over-the-snow camping site in the winter. 
    Open season: open year-round.
    Reservations: walk-in only.
    Fee: USD$16 per night (USD$10 when there’s no running water and during the winter).
    Max. RV length: only in the parking area. No length restrictions apply.
    Max. trailer length: only in the parking area. No length restrictions apply.
    Restrooms: flush toilets available from mid-May to mid-October. Flush toilets are also available at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center just north of the parking (toilets open 24-hours a day).
    Water: potable water available from mid-May to mid-October. Water is also available at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center 24-hours a day.
    Food storage: food locker (not available in the winter).
    Dump station: not available.
    Amenities: a Cafe and a gift shop in the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center.
    Pets: allowed on a leash.
  • Warner Valley Campground. Warner Valley Campground is located right in the middle of Lassen Volcanic National Park, however, it can only be reached via a gravel road. Even though it’s more remote, this campground is close to numerous great hiking trails and the nearby Drakesbad Guest Ranch that offers amenities like thermal pool swimming, dining, and horseback riding.
    Open season: from the 6th of June till around the 12th of October.
    Reservations: 8 sites available for reservations.
    Fee: USD$16 per night.
    Max. RV length: RVs not recommended.
    Max. trailer length: trailers not recommended.
    Restrooms: vault toilets.
    Water: potable water.
    Food storage: food locker.
    Dump station: not available.
    Amenities: none.

You can book the campgrounds in Lassen Volcanic National Park on Recreation.gov. Warner Valley Campground can be booked here.

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Wilderness Camping in Lassen Volcanic National Park

views from hiking Lassen Peak

Lassen Volcanic National Park is a great place for wilderness camping. You will need to get a backcountry camping permit. You can get them from visitor centers, ranger stations, and at some trailheads. 

You are not allowed to bring pets to backcountry camping. Vehicles, bicycles, and weapons are also prohibited. You are only allowed to camp on durable surfaces. You should also keep your distance from the water, roads, and other campers. Campfires in the backcountry are strictly prohibited. Please use backpacking stoves to cook food. 

When backcountry camping, please use the main trails and don’t wander off of them. Off-trail hiking corrodes the surfaces, damages the flora, and increases stress to wildlife. 

Make sure you have all the needed gear for backcountry camping. If you’re camping during the winter, be sure to check out this winter camping gear guide. For more information on backcountry camping in Lassen Volcanic National Park, click here.

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RV Parks near Lassen Volcanic National Park

If you prefer to stay at RV Parks, there are some great options for you around Lassen as well. 

Hat Creek Resort & RV Park is located in the northern part of the park, right on the banks of Hat Creek. This great location is one of the best spots for fishing in Lassen Volcanic National Park. In addition to RV camping, you can also find motel rooms, luxury cottages, and tent sites. 

Living Springs RV & Cabins Resort Campground is located just west of Lassen. It has amazing customer reviews and is set under beautiful old trees that create a perfect shade. It’s known for its cleanliness, great location and good hiking opportunities from the campground. It’s also a good location for fishing, bike riding, and relaxing by the lake. 

Mt Shasta in the distance
Mount Shasta looking from Brokeoff Mountain, Lassen Volcanic National Park

Mt. Lassen / Shingletown KOA is smaller than some other campgrounds, but it’s settled in a peaceful area under the old cedar trees. It has a heated pool, basketball court, volleyball court, and a lot of other amenities many sites don’t have. It’s also known for its friendly staff that works there. 

Cedar Lodge Motel & RV Park is located south of Lassen. Tucked under the pines west of Chester, it’s a great place for the whole family. It’s only a 30-minute drive to Lassen Volcanic National Park, and just a few minutes away from Lake Almanor. It’s perfect for those who want to find a balance between water activities and the wilderness. 

Rancheria RV Park is located on the north side of the park. It has a supply store, is close to nature, and even has local events happening in the campground. It also has a restaurant which is well known for its amazing burgers.

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Hotels and Lodging at Lassen Volcanic National Park 

Hotels around Lassen

For those who prefer to stay in hotels, Lassen Volcanic National Park is situated between five towns that offer some great accommodation options. 

Burney

Burney is a small town just north of Lassen Volcanic National Park. Some of the options I would recommend are:

  • Shasta Pines Motel: it offers cozy and unique rooms, free RV, and car parking and free wi-fi in the motel. Rated 8.1 on Booking.com.
  • Green Gables Motel & Suites: offers free continental breakfast, free wi-fi, and each room has a patio. Rated 7.7 on Booking.com.
  • The Rex Club has a bar, BBQ facilities, and free wi-fi. It also has a restaurant on site. Rated 4.1 on Google Reviews.

Redding

Redding is the biggest town in the area. It’s located on the west side of Lassen National Park. It has botanical gardens, museums, and restaurants. And it’s also very convenient for those who fly into the region as it has an airport.

Hydrothermal Activities at Lassen

Some of the hotel options I would recommend are:

  • Sheraton Redding Hotel at the Sundial Bridge: this higher-end hotel is located near the city center and has a restaurant, a bar, and a swimming pool. It’s also pet-friendly. Rated 9.1 on Booking.com.
  • Red Lion Hotel Redding: do not mix this up with the Red Lion Inn & Suites, which has pretty bad reviews. The Red Lion Hotel is a good option that offers simple yet comfortable rooms, and a gym for the guests to use. It’s located just 5 minutes from the town center. Rated 8.3 on Booking.com.
  • The Oasis: located northeast of the town, it offers an outdoor swimming pool, a hot tub, and free wi-fi. This place has some of the best reviews in the area and is rated 9.6 on Booking.com.
  • American Modern Hotel: has air-conditioned rooms, free wi-fi, and it offers continental breakfast. It’s rated 9.1 on Booking.com.
  • Hope Inn Redding: this exceptional guesthouse offers a BBQ area, a terrace, and all rooms offer a comfortable seating area. It’s situated in a beautiful area, and it also has a shared kitchen. It’s rated 9.8 on Booking.com. 

Red Bluff

Red Bluff is another small town on the western side of Lassen, located about an hour away from the park’s center. 

Some of the better hotel options in Red Bluff are:

  • Hampton Inn & Suites: this place offers free breakfast and free wi-fi. It’s also in a great location for hiking and other recreational activities as it’s located near the Sacramento River. It’s rated 8.7 on Booking.com.
  • Best Western Antelope Inn & Suites: This hotel has an outdoor pool, tropical aviary, and a koi pond. It serves a hot breakfast and waffles in the morning. It’s rated 8.5 on Booking.com.
stunning views from Brokeoff Mountain

Chico

Chico is located on the southern side of Lassen Volcanic National Park. It’s one of the bigger cities in the area, so there are more activities you can find in the city. It has a National Yo-Yo museum, cafes, restaurants, and bars. It’s also home to Bidwell Park, which has a lot of forest trails you can explore.

Some of the hotel options in Chico I’d recommend are:

  • Hotel Diamond: this hotel is rated 4.5 on Google Reviews and is a great option for those who like a comfortable luxurious stay. It offers spacious rooms, fine dining and is situated in a great location in the city.
  • Oxford Suites: it has a pool, sauna, and a hot tub. It also has a fitness center and offers a free hot breakfast. Rated 8.7 on Booking.com.
  • Courtyard Chico: this hotel also has an indoor and outdoor pool. It offers free wi-fi and free parking. It also has a restaurant and a bar. Rated 4.3 on Google Reviews.

Susanville

Susanville is an option if you want to stay on the east side of Lassen Park. It’s located near the eastern part of road 44, that can take you to some trails and locations in the park faster. But it could also mean you are further away from some of the main highlights, like Lassen Peak.

Some of the hotel options in Susanville:

  • Roseberry House Bed & Breakfast: this charming 19th-century style B&B offers home-cooked breakfast, cozy boutique rooms, and is known for its hospitable hosts. Rated 9.7 on Booking.com.
  • Super 8 by Wyndham: this motel has an outdoor swimming pool, offers continental breakfast, and is pet-friendly. Rated 8.4 on Booking.com.

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Lodges around Lassen

For those who like the rustic feel to their accommodation, but still want the comfort of a hotel, there are some great lodging options around Lassen Volcanic National Park. 

  • Mill Creek Resort offers cozy wooden cabins, a convenience store, and a nice little restaurant that serves beer on tap. It’s located in the southern part of the park.
  • Mistletoe Manor is located right by Lake Almanor and is perfect for those who want a more quiet and peaceful stay. It has 4 comfortable suites and each of them offers different amenities.
  • Highlands Ranch Resort is great for those who like a more luxurious stay. This beautiful ranch has its restaurant and bar, spacious private cottages, and a lot of green areas to spend some time outdoors.
  • Hat Creek Lodge is located near the center of Lassen Volcanic National Park. Hat Creek Lodge offers fully equipped rustic cabins. It’s also a great spot for those who love fishing. 

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Restaurants Around Lassen Volcanic National Park

If you’re tired of camping food, you might want to try some of the restaurants around Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Lassen Volcanic National Park surroundings
  • JJ’s Cafe is a highly rated cafe that serves home-cooked style American food. It’s located in the Old Station, which is in the northern part of the park.
  • Buffalo Chip’s Pizza is a well-known pizza place on the southern side of the park, located in the town of Westwood. 
  • Mom’s Old Mill Cafe is also located in Westwood. This place is known for its delicious sandwiches, great coffee, and cakes.  
  • If you like Chinese food, Happy Garden in Susanville is probably the best rated Chinese restaurant in the area.
  • Le Testimony Bistro is something you have to try if you’re in Redding. This organic restaurant serves crepes, delicious soups, vegan, and gluten-free options.
  • Another amazing place in Redding is the Punjabi Indian Food, which is a food truck, well-known for its amazing Indian food.  
  • Red Bluff’s Ikkyu Japanese Restaurant is a great choice for those who love Japanese food.
  • The Redwood Sandwich Co in Chico is the go-to place for those who love a big juicy sandwich to eat in or take out. 
  • Chico is also home to the In-N-Out Burger, which probably doesn’t need any introductions. 
  • If you’re staying in Burney, you can try the American cuisine restaurants Chatty Kathy’s or Anna’s Country Kitchen.

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Getting Supplies at Lassen Volcanic National Park

Groceries

The closest shop you can buy groceries when you’re in Lassen Volcanic National Park is the Mineral Grocery Shop in the town of Mineral. It’s located just south of the park on CA-36. You can find a fairly large Safeway Supermarket in Burney, which is in the northern part of the park. If you are staying outside of the park, there are lots of options for groceries in Redding, Red Bluff, Chico, and Susanville. 

If you only need a few things, the Old Station Fill Up shop in the Old Station town, in Lassen, offers a little bit of everything. 

Camping Supplies

If you need to get some extra camping supplies, you will need to head out of the park. You can find the Big 5 Sporting Goods shops in Susanville, Redding, and Red Bluff. You can also visit Sportsman’s Warehouse in Chico or the Camping World of redding. 

Gas Stations

If you’re in the park itself, the closest gas station is the Old Station Fill Up in the Old Station town. Other gas stations that are fairly close to the park are in Chester in the south, Shingletown in the west, and Burney up north.

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Interesting Facts about Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Peak from Brokeoff Mountain
Lassen Volcanic National Park

What is Lassen Volcanic National Park famous for?

The most famous highlight of Lassen Volcanic National Park is Lassen Peak, which is a plug dome volcano and the southernmost volcano of the Cascade Ridge.  

Is Lassen volcano still active?

Lassen volcano is still considered active and the last eruptions have happened fairly recently. In 1915, the volcano powerfully erupted with an explosion. A continuous series of eruptions lasted until 1917. 

How many volcanoes are in Lassen Volcanic National Park?

There are 18 volcanoes in Lassen Volcanic National Park: 5 Cinder Cone volcanoes, 5 shield type volcanoes, and 8 Plug Dome volcanoes. There are also 4 composite remnants of a stratovolcano (Mt Tehama), which covered a large area of the park thousands of years ago. 

Are there bears in Lassen National Park?

Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to American black bears. Grizzlies lived in this area in the past, but they were eradicated by humans at the beginning of the 20th century. 

Is Lassen National Park worth it?

If you love nature, volcanos, and great hiking opportunities, you will enjoy Lassen National Park. It’s not as popular as Yellowstone, but it has similar hydrothermal activities and is less crowded than the oldest national park in the USA.

Can you fish in Lassen Volcanic National Park?

Yes. There are many places to fish in Lassen Volcanic National Park. Manzanita Lake is a nationally known destination for fishing. 

How many volcanoes are in California?

There are 47 volcanoes in California, and the majority of them are in the northern part of the state.

What is the size of Lassen Volcanic National Park?

166 square miles (429 square kilometers). That’s a small park compared to Yellowstone National Park, which covers 3471 square miles (8991 square kilometers). 

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