Chester with Fall Colors and a little snow

Chester California

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, 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

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

Chester

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

Lake Almanor

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

Lake Almanor

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

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

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

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.

Lake Almanor

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

Chester

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

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.

Canyon Dam

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

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

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

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

Lake Almanor

Lake Almanor CC Vacation 4 Bdrm, 2 Ba Sleeps 10 2 Game Rooms, Free 90M WIFI Bedding, Towels, Soaps, Coffee Bar, Laundry Room, BBQ All-Season Rental

Chester

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

Lake almanor

Lakefront condominium on the Lake Almanor Peninsula with boat slip.

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.

Chester

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

Lake Almanor

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

Upcoming Events Near Chester

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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.

Canyon Dam3000 Almanor Dr West
(530) 259-4343
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We offer a variety of different dishes to temp your palate, from burgers & steaks to fresh fish & pasta. We offer a full bar to enjoy and kick back.

Chester220 Main Street
(530) 280-0767
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We carry a wide variety of merchandise including handcrafted items from local vendors. Antique hunters, ice cream lovers and espresso snobs welcome.

Canyondam2932 Almanor Drive
530-259-2464
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The experience at Carol’s, whether dining, taking out, or catering your event, is best described as comfort food with a twist.

Chester669 Main Street
530-258-4226
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The Ranch House is a full service restaurant and bar with friendly staff and a beautiful back patio.

Lake Almanor309 Peninsula Drive
530-596-3500
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Whether biking, boating jogging or just touring around, everything one needs from deli to spirts to groceries to butcher shop and your favorite coffee

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

Lake Almanor303 Peninsula Dr.
(530) 596-1800
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Serving you the best steak, fresh seafood and elevated pub fare menu paired with selection of great wines, craft beers and specialty cocktails!

Chester163 Main Street
(530) 259-4888
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Small cafe serving grab and go bakery, lunch and a local spot for specialty / gourmet market selections. Seasonal fresh menu.

chester192 Main
530-258-4112
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Chester’s 3rd space. Coffee, beverages, bagels, pastries and friends. And a drive through too! What could be better?

Chester321 Main Street
530-258-2593
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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.

Chester278 Main Street
530-258-2229
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Specialize in traditional breakfast & lunch favorites made from scratch with tasty twists, and fresh baked goods.

Chester111 Slim Drive
(530) 310-3777
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BBQ is our specialty -pulled pork, tri tip, tequila chicken, salads, soups Breakfast and Lunch daily, dinners on the weekends Outside Patio Dining

Lake Almanor401 Peninsula Dr #9
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A nano-brewery, hand crafting small batches of ‘open fermented’ beer. Our ales & lagers are 100% naturally carbonated in the keg.

Shopping Near Chester

Taylorsville4316 Thompson St.
(805) 729-6563
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Family-Friendly Flower Farm offering Farm Stand, Dwarf Dairy Goats, Classes, Wedding Blooms, and general good vibes. Come enjoy the good life with us!

Chester168 Main St.
(916) 258-2100
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Featuring Polywood Outdoor Patio Furniture. Made in the USA & 20 Year Warranty. Umbrellas, Firepits, Home & Lake Decor, Bears & Custom Wood Signs.

Quincy467 Main St.
(530) 283-1033
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We are a small boutique featuring affordable gifts for bath, home and garden. Many are locally made, inspired by nature, with creative packaging.

Chester208 Main St
(530) 258-3327
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Big selection of Lake Almanor-Chester & Butt Lake Apparel for all family members. Large inventory of Fishing, camping, hunting, & marine supplies.

Chester181 Main Street
530-260-2421
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Women’s clothing for the stylish! Great seasonal selections along with jewelry, shoes, hats and more!

Quincy1947 Lee Road
(530) 283-0924
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Full line of construction supplies , hardware and lumber

Quincy373 Main St
(530) 283-0455
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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
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A sweet temptation of yummy chocolates, complete scratch bakery, full espresso bar, and unique gifts.

Chester131 Main Street
(530) 258-3010
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A unique shopping experience of curated home decor collections, accent furniture, jewelry and gifts. Celebrating life with all things beautiful.

Chester632 Main
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A potter for 30+ years, Tom signature style is a piece with graceful lines adorned with “Prehistoric” texturing and crystalline glazing.

Chester539 Main Street
(530) 259-4295
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Fresh produce, deli sandwiches, smoothies, milkshakes and homemade pies.

Chester300 Main Street, Suite B
530-258-2275
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Cabin & lake house decor, clothing for men, women & children. Lazy One jammies & robes too. Children’s games and books.

Quincy525 Main Street
(530) 283-3402
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Art gallery featuring local and regional artists. Pottery, photography, paintings, jewelry, fabric art and greeting cards. Plus many local events.

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-

Quincy531 Main Street
(530) 283-2266
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Office Supplies, Full print, copy and fax services, Art Supplies. Quincy Souvenirs – T Shirts, sweatshirts, hats , magnets Gifts Gift

Chester168 Main Street
530-258-2100
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Surfs up at Almanor Wake Sports that has the latest in water sports items and apparel including the newest “toy,” Soul Craft Boarding.

Quincy367 Main Street
(530) 616-0230
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Custom Picture Framer, Professional Portrait Photographer. Large Format Printer for your limited edition giclee prints, and we also carry art supplies

Quincy411 Main Street
(530) 283-4545
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We are a small business out to make a big difference! Quincy Pharmacy is your local, full-service pharmacy. We also offer unique gifts.

Quincy383 Main Street
(530) 283-0404
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We are a family owned and operated business offering Toys, Games, Boutique Children’s Clothing and Hand Scooped Ice cream.

Chester138 E. Willow St
(530) 258-2424
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Gather Home has everything for your aesthetic needs for home and entertaining! Table Top – Gifts – Interior Decor – Furniture!

Canyon Dam3000 Almanor Dr West
(530) 259-4343
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Our store offers a little bit of everything. We have PPR souvenirs, snacks, beer, wine, fishing tackle or any last-minute camping essentials

Crescent Mills15771 Hwy 89
(530) 284-6016
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Since 1985 The place to find Unique Treasures ,gifts & keepsakes in beautiful Indian Valley!

Chester201 Main Street
530-258-2611
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Your local one-stop-shop! From paint and chainsaws, to fishing and hunting supplies. Serving the Lake Almanor community for over 75 years.

Chester417 Main Street
(530) 258-3955
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Mountain hardware store. Excellent customer service & friendly staff. Home décor & appliances. Trusted brands-Stihl, Weber, Traeger, Ben Moore paint.

Chester123 Main St
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Hand poured candles, small batch soaps, bath and body products, leather goods, jewelry and socks. Something for everyone! Custom orders encouraged.

Chester149 Main Street
(530) 258-2338
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A friendly outdoor shop that is passionate about getting folks in the outdoors. We carry a variety of FUN! Bicycles, Hobie Kayaks and SUP.

Chester278 Main St.
(530) 258-2150
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Indie bookstore with classics to new releases, art gallery and gifts. Grab coffee, breakfast, lunch at Cravings while browsing! It’s the best!

Chester357 Main
530-258-4543
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Custom floral arrangements, gifts, plants, and tuxedo rental located in mid town Chester.

Chester220 Main Street
530-280-0767
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Mercantile, old & new home decor, gifts and repurposed items. Great coffee &old fashioned milkshakes. DIYers & gift giving folks you’ll find it here!

Lake Almanor7640 Highway 147
(530) 596-4505
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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.

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.

chester632 Main Street
530-258-2525
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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.

Chester607 Main Street
530-258-2600
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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.

Lake Almanor430 Peninsula Drive
(530) 596-3348
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We are your one stop for lake fun. We offer authentic cabin rentals too top of the line boat rentals.

Quincy550 Crescent Street
(530) 283-2426
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Full service bike shop, shuttle service, bike rentals, trail maps, local trail knowledge, cycling accessories and apparel.

Places to Visit Near Chester