View of Chester from distance with Lassen Peak

Chester California

photo by Betty Bishop

best place to stay when visiting Lassen Volcanic National park

Chester is a cozy town located on the shores of Lake Almanor in the shadow of Lassen Peak. This sleepy community sits along the banks of the Feather River and is surrounded by breathtaking meadows, forests, and streams.

Chester and the Lake Almanor Basin offer an array of diverse outdoor activities to enjoy. The lake offers water sports, swimming and fabulous fishing. And, the area has many dining opportunities, three golf courses open to the public, and a variety of entertainment opportunities.

Between Lassen Volcanic National Park, Lassen National Forest and lands held by Feather River Land Trust, Chester is the base camp to several hundred miles of trails. The PCT is a few miles west on Highway 36, making Chester a great half-way place in Northern California for PCT hikers to stop and re-supply.

When traveling the southern portion of the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway (Highway 36), Chester offers the perfect place to stretch your legs and stay awhile to explore the natural beauty that surrounds you.

The town itself has several restaurants, unique shops, 2 museums, and a public library. Many annual events occur here including arts and craft shows, concerts, car shows, and holiday celebrations and summer farmers markets. While much of the town closes down for the evening, take a peaceful stroll from downtown on the 1.8 mile Collins Pine Nature Loop Trail along the Feather River.

The takeaway

Chester is ideal for adventurous travelers seeking to unplug and get away from it all. It’s the best place to stay when visiting Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Chester Essentials

  • Lassen Volcanic National Park is open year round, you do not need a reservation to enter the park.
  • Road access, services, and activities in Lassen are limited in the snowy season. 
  • Once evening comes, most of the town closes down. But if you want to hike and be outdoors, it is the place for you.
  • From June 16th through Oct. on Thursday’s visit the Farmer’s Market from 4 -7 pm at Chester Park.
  • Not all businesses and services are open during the winter months.  Be sure to check hours to make sure they’re open before visiting!
  • Population of Chester: 2,000
  • Elevation of Chester: 4,534

Places to Stay Near Chester

Butt Valley Reservoir

63 fee sites along the shore of Butt Valley Reservoir. RV’s and tents are welcome with a limit of 6 persons per campsite. Pet Friendly.

Lake Almanor

Magical home with gorgeous lake and sunset views. Sleeps 10. Located in the Lake Almanor Country Club with all the amenities.

Lake Almanor

Lakefront home set in a quiet cove with a private dock.

Lake Almanor

Wonderful Lake Almanor Cabin on a deep water parcel with gently sloped lawn to sandy beach, waters edge, and dock.

Lake Almanor

Lake Almanor Country Club Log Cabin near Recreation Area 2 & Golf Course.

Chester

Antlers Motel is in the best location in Chester close to shopping, restaurants, parks and trails. Best value in the Lake Almanor area.

Chester

This home is located in the heart of Chester. Minutes to Lake Almanor, for boating, water sports, swimming, kayaking, 40 minutes to Mr. Lassen.

Lake almanor

Lakefront condominium on the Lake Almanor Peninsula with boat slip.

Canyon Dam

A family owned/operated resort since 1928, featuring 9 cabins, 25 RV sites, marina, cafe and a commitment to providing an amazing vacation experience

Chester

Your perfect basecamp in charming old town Chester, centraly located to Lake Almanor and Lassen Volcanic NP.

Lake Almanor

Lake View Condominium in Peninsula Village with dock & boat slip. Sleeps 6.

Butt Valley Reservoir

Enjoy the outstanding views and tranquil atmosphere at Butt Valley Reservoir when you set up camp at Cool Springs Campground in Northern California.

Lake Almanor

Big Springs Resort is among the tall pines with a quiet serene atmosphere. Family and pet friendly near Hamilton Branch.

Canyondam

Beautiful resort along the shores of Lake Almanor. We offer a wide range of amenities including; cabins and rooms, an RV park, and a marina.

Lake Almanor

The Dorado Inn is a waterfront boutique resort, retreat and healing center located on the east shore of Lake Almanor, California.

Mill Creek

Close to the SW entrance of Lassen Volcanic National Park. A stay at the historic lodge includes full breakfast, option of dinner and a full bar.

Chester

Step into our uniquely designed rooms in the heart of Chester.

Lake Almanor

Lakefront cabin, sleeps 12, near historic Hamilton Branch Powerhouse.

Lake Almanor

Nestled in the pines this quiet clul-de-sac cabin is right up the road from your own boat slip at Knotty Pines Marina in Big Cove.

Canyon Dam

Rocky Point is a PG&E operated Campground Located on the West Shore of Lake Almanor just North of Canyon Dam

Upcoming Events Near Chester

Chester
9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Chester Community Park
Meadow Brook Loop and Willow Street

Awards, Silent Auction, Free Popcorn & Face Painting for Children, Prize Drawings for Registrants

Learn more
Lake Almanor
10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Lake Almanor Country Club
501 Peninsula Drive

The Courage Triathlon is a 2.8 mile run, 6.4 mile bike, 3.1 mile kayak. It can be done as a team of 3 or solo. come join us for a fun & inspiring experience!

Learn more

Dining & Entertainment Near Chester

Chester240 Main Street
(530) 259-4221

Dutch bakery and coffee house. Out of this world pastries, cookies, breakfast and lunch quiches, and savory pastry wraps. Outside seating.

TAYLORSVILLE4368 Main st., P O Box 186
(530) 284-7024
Visit website

Groceries, specialty items, beer and wine, brought to you by food enthusiasts. Boasting an international selection of artisan cheeses and cured meats.

Chester111 Slim Drive
(530) 310-3777
Visit website

BBQ is our specialty -pulled pork, tri tip, tequila chicken, salads, soups Breakfast and Lunch daily, dinners on the weekends Outside Patio Dining

Quincy90 E Main St.
(530) 283-0591
Visit website

Serving delicious Mexican and American home-cooked dishes all day. Join us for a tasty breakfast, margarita & nachos after work or a full meal!

chester192 Main
530-258-4112
Visit website

Chester’s 3rd space. Coffee, beverages, bagels, pastries and friends. And a drive through too! What could be better?

Lake Almanor303 Peninsula Dr.
(530) 596-1800
Visit website

Serving you the best steak, fresh seafood and elevated pub fare menu paired with selection of great wines, craft beers and specialty cocktails!

Quincy541 Main Street
(530) 283-1956
Visit website

A traditional black box theatre offering an intimate space and cutting-edge design for first-rate community theatre and live music.

Chester163 Main Street
(530) 259-4888
Visit website

Small cafe serving grab and go bakery, lunch and a local spot for specialty / gourmet market selections. Seasonal fresh menu.

Lake Almanor401 Peninsula Dr #9
Visit website

A nano-brewery, hand crafting small batches of ‘open fermented’ beer. Our ales & lagers are 100% naturally carbonated in the keg.

Quincy469 Main Street
530-283-3402
Visit website

Movies show on Fri., Sat., and Monday at 7 pm. Sunday at 4 pm

Chester220 Main Street
(530) 280-0767
Visit website

We carry a wide variety of merchandise including handcrafted items from local vendors. Antique hunters, ice cream lovers and espresso snobs welcome.

Quincy541 Main St
(530) 289-6530
Visit website

Taproom in downtown featuring beer from Quincy’s only brewery. Modern pub food and easy-drinking beer styles that appeal to everyone.

Greenville202 Crescent Street
Visit website

Stop by the big yellow trailer for specialty hot or iced coffee and tea year-round! We also feature daily breakfast and lunch items.

Quincy2043 E Main Street
530-927-9536
Visit website

Ice cream, sundaes and shakes plus an ideal spot for a quick bite including burgers, sandwiches, hotdogs and fries.

Quincy91 Bradley St
(530) 283-4735
Visit website

A sweet temptation of yummy chocolates, complete scratch bakery, full espresso bar, and unique gifts.

Quincy557 Lawrence Street
530-283-3300
Visit website

Warm, cozy, friendly, and delicious food. Great service. The place to be for breakfast or lunch, or hanging out enjoying a coffee.

Lake Almanor309 Peninsula Drive
530-596-3500
Visit website

Whether biking, boating jogging or just touring around, everything one needs from deli to spirts to groceries to butcher shop and your favorite coffee

Canyondam2932 Almanor Drive
530-259-2464
Visit website

The experience at Carol’s, whether dining, taking out, or catering your event, is best described as comfort food with a twist.

Blairsden Graeagle67007 California Highway 70
(530) 394-0940
Visit website

A 15-barrel brewery tucked away in the tall pines. Bring the whole family and relax, play games, and enjoy lunch or dinner.

Quincy438 Main Street
(530) 283-9380
Visit website

An upscale wine bar with a down home feel, where everybody knows your name. We also serve imported and domestic beer by the bottle.

Chester669 Main Street
530-258-4226
Visit website

The Ranch House is a full service restaurant and bar with friendly staff and a beautiful back patio.

Quincy497 Lawrence St
(530) 283-9900
Visit website

Pizza, pasta, burgers, baked potatoes, salads and more. Plus a full bar! Enjoy your meal in our outdoor garden in warmer months.

Chester278 Main Street
530-258-2229
Visit website

Specialize in traditional breakfast & lunch favorites made from scratch with tasty twists, and fresh baked goods.

Lake Almanor401 Ponderosa Dr.
(530) 596-3902
Visit website

New Name, same owners, same great Italian food! Our home made pizza and pasta has been famous on the Lake Almanor Peninsula for over 40 years.

Chester321 Main Street
530-258-2593
Visit website

Nothing is better than a burger or a dog through a window! A local favorite for ice cream treats, dinners, fries and more for over 40 years.

Shopping Near Chester

Chester417 Main Street
(530) 258-3955
Visit website

Mountain hardware store. Excellent customer service & friendly staff. Home décor & appliances. Trusted brands-Stihl, Weber, Traeger, Ben Moore paint.

Chester357 Main
530-258-4543
Visit website

Custom floral arrangements, gifts, plants, and tuxedo rental located in mid town Chester.

Quincy367 Main Street
(530) 616-0230
Visit website

Custom Picture Framer, Professional Portrait Photographer. Large Format Printer for your limited edition giclee prints, and we also carry art supplies

Chester632 Main
Visit website

A potter for 30+ years, Tom signature style is a piece with graceful lines adorned with “Prehistoric” texturing and crystalline glazing.

Quincy411 Main Street
(530) 283-4545
Visit website

We are a small business out to make a big difference! Quincy Pharmacy is your local, full-service pharmacy. We also offer unique gifts.

Chester181 Main Street
530-260-2421
Visit website

Women’s clothing for the stylish! Great seasonal selections along with jewelry, shoes, hats and more!

Chester539 Main Street
(530) 259-4295
Visit website

Fresh produce, deli sandwiches, smoothies, milkshakes and homemade pies.

Chester123 Main St
Visit website

Hand poured candles, small batch soaps, bath and body products, leather goods, jewelry and socks. Something for everyone! Custom orders encouraged.

Chester208 Main St
(530) 258-3327
Visit website

Big selection of Lake Almanor-Chester & Butt Lake Apparel for all family members. Large inventory of Fishing, camping, hunting, & marine supplies.

Quincy550 Crescent Street
(530) 283-2426
Visit website

Full service bike shop, shuttle service, bike rentals, trail maps, local trail knowledge, cycling accessories and apparel.

Lake Almanor7640 Highway 147
(530) 596-4505
Visit website

Karen’s Deli and Pizza at the Branch located along the East Shore of Lake Almanor is the East Shore’s favorite place for Pizza and BBQ Burgers.

Chester220 Main Street
530-280-0767
Visit website

Mercantile, old & new home decor, gifts and repurposed items. Great coffee &old fashioned milkshakes. DIYers & gift giving folks you’ll find it here!

Chester168 Main St.
(916) 258-2100
Visit website

Featuring Polywood Outdoor Patio Furniture. Made in the USA & 20 Year Warranty. Umbrellas, Firepits, Home & Lake Decor, Bears & Custom Wood Signs.

Chester138 E. Willow St
(530) 258-2424
Visit website

Gather Home has everything for your aesthetic needs for home and entertaining! Table Top – Gifts – Interior Decor – Furniture!

Chester300 Main Street, Suite B
530-258-2275
Visit website

Cabin & lake house decor, clothing for men, women & children. Lazy One jammies & robes too. Children’s games and books.

Chester189 Main Street
530-258-2032

Historic Olde Town Corner Store, built in 1912, is now a one stop convenience store. Beverages, snacks and food, and an old town gas station as well.

Chester680 Main Street
530-258-2212

Packed with everything from furniture to house gadgets, this thrift store offers lots and lots of items at great prices. M-T, Sun – 10-4pm; F-Sat. 10-

Chester149 Main Street
(530) 258-2338
Visit website

A friendly outdoor shop that is passionate about getting folks in the outdoors. We carry a variety of FUN! Bicycles, Hobie Kayaks and SUP.

Taylorsville4316 Thompson St.
(805) 729-6563
Visit website

Family-Friendly Flower Farm offering Farm Stand, Dwarf Dairy Goats, Classes, Wedding Blooms, and general good vibes. Come enjoy the good life with us!

Crescent Mills15771 Hwy 89
(530) 284-6016
Visit website

Since 1985 The place to find Unique Treasures ,gifts & keepsakes in beautiful Indian Valley!

Quincy525 Main Street
(530) 283-3402
Visit website

Art gallery featuring local and regional artists. Pottery, photography, paintings, jewelry, fabric art and greeting cards. Plus many local events.

Chester201 Main Street
530-258-2611
Visit website

Your local one-stop-shop! From paint and chainsaws, to fishing and hunting supplies. Serving the Lake Almanor community for over 75 years.

Quincy1947 Lee Road
(530) 283-0924
Visit website

Full line of construction supplies , hardware and lumber

Chester278 Main St.
(530) 258-2150
Visit website

Indie bookstore with classics to new releases, art gallery and gifts. Grab coffee, breakfast, lunch at Cravings while browsing! It’s the best!

Lake Almanor430 Peninsula Drive
(530) 596-3348
Visit website

We are your one stop for lake fun. We offer authentic cabin rentals too top of the line boat rentals.

chester632 Main Street
530-258-2525
Visit website

A wide variety of pet supplies are offered by owner Michele, who has over 35 years of experience with animals. T-F 10-5pm; Sat 10-4pm.

Quincy467 Main St.
(530) 283-1033
Visit website

We are a small boutique featuring affordable gifts for bath, home and garden. Many are locally made, inspired by nature, with creative packaging.

Chester168 Main Street
530-258-2100
Visit website

Surfs up at Almanor Wake Sports that has the latest in water sports items and apparel including the newest “toy,” Soul Craft Boarding.

Quincy383 Main Street
(530) 283-0404
Visit website

We are a family owned and operated business offering Toys, Games, Boutique Children’s Clothing and Hand Scooped Ice cream.

Chester131 Main Street
(530) 258-3010
Visit website

A unique shopping experience of curated home decor collections, accent furniture, jewelry and gifts. Celebrating life with all things beautiful.

Quincy373 Main St
(530) 283-0455
Visit website

Feather River Outdoors sells and rents gear for biking, skiing, kayaking, hiking, camping, and more. We also have a full-service bike and ski shop.

Quincy91 Bradley St.
(530) 283-4735
Visit website

A sweet temptation of yummy chocolates, complete scratch bakery, full espresso bar, and unique gifts.

Chester607 Main Street
530-258-2600
Visit website

Such talent in the great Lake Almanor basin, local artisans and crafters share their wares for locals and guest to bring home that unique piece.

Quincy531 Main Street
(530) 283-2266
Visit website

Office Supplies, Full print, copy and fax services, Art Supplies. Quincy Souvenirs – T Shirts, sweatshirts, hats , magnets Gifts Gift

Places to Visit Near Chester