Lassen Park as well as the National Park Service will be turning 100 years old in August.
Boiling springs, belching mudpots and hissing steam vents are among the wondrous sights awaiting visitors to beautiful Lassen Volcanic National Park. A national park since 1916, Lassen is a treasure trove of hydrothermal activity and geological wonders.
Lassen peak is at the southernmost end of the Cascade range, which extends from here to Canada.
Lassen Park is at the crossroads of three unique
biological areas; the Cascades, the Sierra
Nevada and the Great Basin.
The western part of the park features lava pinnacles and volcanoes, while the eastern part features small cinder cones, forested with conifers and studded with small lakes created by lava flows.
Just a short 30-minute drive from the Chester and Lake Almanor area, the park is a great day trip. Observe the hydrothermal activity along the road at Sulphur Works, or take one of the many hikes through some of the most pristine, untouched wilderness in the country.
In fall of 2008, the park added the new Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, located at the park's southwest entrance. The name means "snowy mountain" in the Native American language of the Mountain Maidu tribe and is their name for Lassen Peak.
Hiking trails take visitors through a hydrothermal area called Bumpass Hell, and through the Devastated Area which exhibits remarkable recovery since Lassen's last eruption in 1921. For a longer trek, visitors can climb to the top of Lassen Peak (elevation 10,475), on a five-mile, three to five-hour journey that climbs 2,000 feet.
Be sure to pick up a map at either park entrance and consider exploring the listed trails. These walks are a great way to see just a few of the 700 species of plants and wildlife in the park. In addition to the landscapes, there are breathtaking views of the entire Almanor Basin, and on a clear day you can see Mount Shasta from Lassen Peak.
The park also offers ranger-led talks and evening programs in summer. Special junior ranger programs are scheduled during the summer.
For biking enthusiasts, Lassen Park now offers a vehicle free day to walk, run, or bike the 30 mile Lassen Park Highway without any vehicular traffic. The date varies each year depending on road and snow conditions. Start watching for the date in May. The park road will reopen to vehicular traffic the day after the event.
During the winter, park rangers lead snowshoe
walks that enable visitors to explore the beauty
of the park year-round.Snowshoe walks are offered on Saturday and Sunday at 1:30pm at the Kohn Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center from January to early April, depending on snow conditions.
There is a fee of $20 per vehicle to enter Lassen Volcanic
National Park. The park road (which connects with Highway 89 north and south of
the park) covers 30 miles and it takes approximately an hour to drive. The best
time to visit the park for car touring or hiking is July through September. The
road may be closed from late October to mid-June due to snow, but there is
parking and access to the area at both the north and south entrances. There is a special winter entrance fee of $10 per vehicle from December 1st to April 15th.
Campground fees are $10 - $18 and are available both by reservation and first-come, first-served. To reserve, call 1-877-444-6777 or click here to reserve online.
Lodging options within the park include Drakesbad Guest ranch in the Warner Valley, at the park's southeast end, and new camping cabins at Manzanita Lake near the park's northeast entrance. Camping cabins can be reserved at www.lassenrecreation.com.
Chester, located a half-hour east of the southern entrance to the park, is the nearest full-service town, offering complete visitor services including lodging, camping, dining and shopping.
Two lodging locations that cater to guests visiting Lassen Volcanic National Park are the Rose Quartz Inn located in downtown Chester, and the St. Bernard Lodge located 10 miles west of Chester, St. Bernard Lodge is 15 miles from the SW entrance of Lassen Park.