Lassen Volcanic National Park: The Complete Guide
Occupying the southernmost point of the Cascade Range and surrounded by the Lassen National Forest, Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California is a vast geologically active swath of wilderness where black bears and mountain lions roam and Campers can find stargazing cousins, trout fishing, miles of hiking, and snow in winter.
Established in August 1916, its 166 square kilometers contain one of only two volcanoes that were active in the 20th century in the lower 48 states (Lassen Peak), tons of lakes, coniferous forests of fragrant Douglas fir and pine trees, valleys glaciers, wildflowers. covered meadows, Yellowstone-like hydrothermal zones filled with bubbling clay pots, sulfur vents, and smoking fumaroles, all in an elevation range of 5,650 to 10,457 feet above sea level.
Enjoy The Amazing Lassen Volcanic National Park in California!
Given the harsh winter conditions, high altitude, and transient deer population, no Native American tribe chose to live in the Lassen area year-round.
However, when the snow melted and hunting and gathering improved, four groups (Atsugewi, Yana, Yahi, and Mountain Maidu) began to frequent the territory.
His descendants remained active in the park. Selena LaMarr, an Atsugewi, became the park's first female naturalist in the 1950s.
Tribal members have served as summer interpreters, cultural demonstrators, and exhibit/artifact authenticators, and fact-checkers since their inception.
And in 2008, the Kohn Yah-mah-nee (Mountain Maidu for "snowy mountain") Visitor Center became the park's first facility to bear the name of an American Indian language.
We hope you enjoy watching this video about Lassen Volcanic National Park
Source: California Travel Tips
Things to do
Get your bearings and decide how to spend your time in Lassen at the Kohn Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, one mile from the park's southwest entrance. Inside, guests will find exhibits, a help desk, auditorium, amphitheater, park store, courtyard, cafeteria, and souvenir shop.
What you do during your stay in the park depends a lot on the season in which you visit.
Summer (mid-June to early September) offers the greatest variety of activities and the easiest access.
The entire park is open for hiking, non-motorized water sports, fishing, horseback riding, bird watching, car rides, and much more.
Summer also offers the majority of ranger-led programs, including evening talks, junior ranger activities, a junior firefighter program, stargazing, which run spring through fall and include lectures, evening programs, stargazing, and public bird banding demonstrations.
A beautiful exception is the two-hour guided snowshoe hikes in the Southwest area, which can be enjoyed from January to March.
The park's 30-mile road, which connects Lake Manzanita in the northwest and the park's southwest entrances, is the main route for exploring the park and most of the must-see walks are found along with it.
There are three additional roads that lead to more remote areas of the Warner Valley, Lake Juniper, and Lake Butte.
Fill the tank before you get to the park as there is only one gas station within the park boundary (behind the Manzanita Lake Camper store). It is only open from the end of May to the middle of October.
Sulfur Works, a former mineral mine founded by an Austrian immigrant in the mid-19th century that has become a roadside attraction run by his descendants, is one such point of interest.
The most easily accessible hydrothermal area in the park, its bitter colors, moving earth and intense smells will envelop all your senses as you navigate the short paved path.
The remote location means little to no light pollution, which means Lassen is a great place to look at the stars.
Rangers hold Starry Night programs throughout the summer and the park hosts an annual Dark Sky Festival.
The Loomis Museum, open only during the summer, was built in 1927 by area resident and photographer Benjamin Loomis and his wife Estella.
It houses his images of the park, including those documenting the Pico Lassen eruptions of 1914-1915 that helped garner support in establishing the park, a film, exhibits on the eruptions and the park's history, a shop, and a working seismograph.
The Lily Pond Nature Trail is across the street from the historic stone building.
Better walks and trails
More than 150 miles of trails cross the LVNP, depositing hikers at impressive hydrothermal resources, alpine lakes, volcanic peaks, and meadows.
To preserve the wild environment, follow the philosophy of leaving no footprints, stay on the trail, and never feed wildlife like bears or the rare Sierra Nevada red fox.
In winter, the roads are covered in dust and often require skis or snowshoes. Snow is even known to be around some trails in June and July.
The trails worth putting on your list are:
• A 17-mile stretch of Pacific Crest Trail that runs through the park.
• The Lake Manzanita trail winds around the lake of the same name and is perfect for beginners as the elevation gain is negligible and it is less than 3 km long.
• The 3.7km Kings Creek Falls loop includes some steep slopes, a marsh crossing, a log bridge, and high elevation, but rewards hikers with a 30-foot waterfall.
• Don't let the name scare you. Those who tackle the three-mile Bumpass Hell Trail will have access to the largest hydrothermal area in the park. Before falling into a basin of bubbling pools and sulfur smells, you'll pass the remains of a volcano and a serene lake.
• For more information on the eruptions of 1914-1916, visit the short Trail of the Devastated Area. Interpretive signage and views of Lassen Peak, and its destroyed southeast slope, are spread over 0.2 miles.
• Snag Lake Loop is the longest trail at 13 miles.
• Lassen Peak and Cinder Cone trails are recommended for full moon hikes.
Boating and Fishing
Lassen is a land of lakes, many of which are open to exploration on non-motorized boats such as kayaks, SUPs, or canoes.
Boating is prohibited at Lakes Helen, Emerald, Reflection, and Boiling Springs. Lakes Manzanita, Butte, Juniper, and Summit are the most popular for water sports.
Single and double kayaks can be rented from May through September at the Manzanita Lake store.
Fishing is another popular pastime in the park, especially on Lakes Manzanita and Butte, as a variety of trout species reside here.
Kings and Grassy Swale creeks also have brook trout populations. A valid California fishing license is required.
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