Lassen Volcanic National Park offers visitors a tangible lesson in the
power of unseen forces within the Earth. Mt. Lassen blew almost
100 years ago but the volcano and its surrounding meadows and forests
are not entirely asleep. Lesser-known Lassen is one national park
to choose when Yosemite is too crowded. Once a wasteland after
the volcano’s hot lava and gases erupted, much of it is
reforested. See craters, lava dunes, thermal pools and other
evidence of subterranean action.
Despite the wild past, it is quite safe to visit Lassen Volcanic
National Park as more than 80 years have passed without an eruption.
For more local information, go to the Top Destinations
section and select the Lassen Area
Print this map to plan your travel to Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Mineral, California 96063
Established August 9, 1916
106,000 acres. Open all year. Fee - $10/vehicle.
(530) 595-4444 www.nps.gov/lavo
On May 22, 1914, Mt. Lassen erupted spectacularly, blowing ash and
debris 7 miles high, and continuing sporadically for the next 7 years.
Sulfur vents are still steaming. The surrounding landscape was forever
altered by great lava pinacles, mountains created by lava flows, and
newly formed craters, creating a unique ecosystem.
The Park Road leads to a 3-mile round-trip hike on the Bumpass Hell
trail to the largest geothermal site in the park:16 acres of boiling
mud, pyrite pools, steam vents, and odoriferous fumeroles. Nearby is
Lake Helen and farther east, the road leads to Summit Lake, a pristine
alpine lake. Two other lakes, Reflection and Manzanita, are just inside
the park’s northwest entrance station. The Pacific Crest Trail runs
through the center of the park. Few visitors make it up the 10,000’
peak – only the very prepared and experienced hikers.
ACTIVITIES: Hiking, backcountry camping (permit required), horseback riding, swimming, canoeing, and cross-country skiing.
WILDLIFE: Mule deer, raccoon, coyote,
black bear, marmot, Douglas’ and flying squirrels, pika, blue grouse,
peregrine falcon, bald eagle, wood duck, and treefrog. Many migrating
waterfowl in summer.
PLANT LIFE: Snow plant, alpine shooting star, skyrocket gilia, Indian paintbrush, and lodgepole pine.
TRAVEL TIPS: No motorized boats are
permitted in park waters. Around hot springs or steaming areas, stay on
established trails. Ground crusts that appear stable may be dangerously
DIRECTIONS: From I-5, exit east at Redding or Red Bluff to reach Lassen Volcanic National Park. Nearest airports: Redding, Chico.