Plan your visit to
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Wild Nature at its True Best
Lassen Volcanic National Park also has its own unique feature that is evident by its very name. The volcanic structures within the park are not just a way to garner more tourist visits. They are real live volcanoes that have been known to erupt from time to time. The last known eruptions occurred in the early part of the last century and ultimately called for the designation of the area into a national park. Lassen Volcanic National Park became part of the national park registry for protection reasons after many homes were destroyed by eruptions in 1916. Since that time, volcanic activity has been very minimal, but only time will tell when the next eruption might occur. Until that time the over 400,000 visitors will just have to enjoy the vast beauty that is within Lassen Volcanic National Park.
When to go
June – July – August – September – October
Stunning Vistas – Hiking – Scenic Drives – Biking – Winter Sports – Wild flowers – Fishing – Horseback Riding
Yellowstone National Park is generally the national park that people think of when they want to examine hydrothermal areas up close, but it is not the only national park that contains this geothermal phenomenon. Lassen Volcanic National Park contains many areas of hydrothermal hotspots. The hydrothermal areas within the park are very popular among guests of all ages, but to remain safe while enjoying this rare occurrence, visitors are encouraged to remain on the trails. Veering off the trails does not only have the potential to expose you to boiling water, but acidic properties found within the hotspots. People have been harmed by stepping on areas that they believed to be solid ground only to discover that the crust was quite thin causing their body weight to break through to the substance beneath.
Although part of Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to a myriad of volcanic activity, many lakes are found within the area offering a wide variety of water activities for the whole family. Juniper Lake, Summit Lake, Butte Lake, and Manzanita Lake are all very popular lakes for all non-motorized boating excursions. Kayaking, canoeing, and standup paddle boating are all available and if you do not have the equipment yourself, you can rent it from the Manzanita Lake Camper Store.
Fishing is another popular water activity, but within the borders of Lassen Volcanic National Park you will have to abide by all of the California fishing regulations including the catch and release clause. Further you will have to obtain the correct permit before casting a line. The use of live bait and power lures are also prohibited.
A Stargazer’s Paradise
There are few places left in the world where you are awarded the privilege of viewing a completely unobstructed view of the night sky. Lassen Volcanic National Park celebrates the fact that they are a noted as being a national dark sky park and every August they have the Lassen Dark Sky Festival where stargazers from all over the world enjoy the chance to see practically every star in the sky with a clear view of the Milky Way. You are welcome to bring your telescope to the event, but it is likely that you will be able to see everything without the use of one on a very clear night.
Things to Know
Like most of the national parks found within North America, Lassen Volcanic National Park relies on entrance fees for funds to maintain the park and pay for the rangers that keep order. The fees are good for 7 days from the time of purchase so when compared to other family activities they can be remarkably affordable. For a passenger vehicle, the fee is $20 during the warmer months and only $10 during the winter months. Motorcycles are $15 and individuals arriving on non-motorized transportation. The best deal however is with the annual pass that will cost you $40 but allow you to visit the park as much as you want for the entire year. Throughout the year, there are also some fee free days so make sure that you look before you arrive to see if your trip coincides with one of these very budget friendly options.
Camping within national parks is a time-honored tradition and should not be missed when visiting Lassen Volcanic National Park. Campgrounds are found throughout the park and at almost all of the lakes, but before you decide on a campsite make sure that the site has the amenities, such as water, that you need. The campsites start at $12 and go up depending on location and the number of people that will be camping. Lassen Volcanic National Park has so much to offer any family and is one national park that should definitely not be missed.