view of Mt. Lassen from Spencer Meadow Trail

Lassen National Forest

Lassen National Forest covers 1.2 million acres across seven North Eastern Counties in California. The forest surrounds the Lake Almanor Basin providing a natural playground for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing, mushroom picking, gold panning, and Off-road opportunities in the spring, summer, and fall months. 

Lassen Forest offers plenty of opportunities to get out and be active and adventurous. Need time to sit back and relax; you can do that, also. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and find a place to rest along the shores of one of the great lakes or streams in the forest. Enjoy the fresh air, solitude, and quietness of the mountains.

Much of the Lassen National Forest surrounds Chester and Lake Almanor, making access to the forest very easy. Holiday Market, Sports Nut, True Value Hardware, and Ayoob’s offer camping supplies, equipment rentals, and food. Lodging is available both in Chester and around Lake Almanor.  

The Almanor District is located on Hwy 36 across the street from Roger’s Airport. The lobby hours are limited; however, staff can be reached by calling 530-258-2141 for additional information.

Unique Places within Lassen National Forest

We highly recommend the Hat Creek Rim Overlook on Hwy  44. It is a seasonal rest stop with restrooms and pay binoculars. On a clear day, you have views of Lassen Peak, Mt. Shasta, and the valley which covers Burney and Fall River Mills.

Just east of the Hwy 89/44 junction is Subway Caves, a lava tube that is ⅓ of a mile long. Bring a flashlight, and the Subway Caves make a great place on a hot day or after hiking Cinder Cone.

Just west of Hwy 89/36 junction on the south side of the Hwy. is Spattercone Nature Trail. An easy 1.7-mile loop and a great hike when other hikes in Lassen Volcanic National Park are still covered in snow.

Almanor Beach is an excellent spot for swimming on Lake Almanor’s west shore. The area is protected by buoys to separate swimmers from motorboats and jet skis.

Almanor Recreation Trail which runs 19 miles along the west shore of Lake Almanor.

Much of the forest is blanketed in snow during the winter, and the forest opens up for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. Between November 1st and Christmas, many local families and visitors return to the woods for their perfect Christmas Tree (permit required).

Know Before You Go

  • No cell service in many areas of Lassen National Forest
  • Be prepared for changing weather conditions
  • When traveling back roads make sure to have a spare tire and equipment to change it.
  • Camping is allowed anywhere on the Lassen National Forest with the exception of designated no camping areas.
  • Campfire permits required outside of developed campsites.
  • Special Fire Restrictions  or alerts may apply, before each visit check for current restrictions which may be in place.
  • Camping limited to 14 days in one location.
  • All OHV’s must have currently registered “Green Stickers”  Helmets required when riding on National Forest lands
  • Horses can be ridden anywhere on Lassen National Forest.  More information on horseback riding on National Forest lands.
  • Wilderness permits are not required for the three wilderness areas within Lassen National Forest.



General Information Lassen National Forest

Fire Permits

Lassen National Forest Visitor Guide


Discover more of Plumas County
Places to stay nearby Lassen National Forest
Lake Almanor

Set in a quiet cove, off Peninsula Drive, this lake access home sleeps 10.


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


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