Four hours north east of San Francisco and an hour from the nearest interstate highway, "off the beaten track" is a phrase that could've been coined for Lassen Volcanic National Park. Overlooked by locals and visitors alike the place is something of a treasured secret to those in the know, and should you choose to visit you’ll find tranquil surroundings even on the busiest holiday weekends.
The tranquility of the park belies its true violent nature, however. Situated at the southern-most point on the Cascade Range evidence of volcanic activity is everywhere in this park, including examples of all four types of volcano (plug dome, shield, cinder cone and stratovolcano).
The most prominent landmark in the park at 10,457 feet above sea level is Lassen Peak, also recently the most explosive landmark, when in 1915 witnesses observed explosive eruptions from the summit which cast volcanic ash up to 200 miles away.
Our day hikes leave you spoiled for choice and provide several entirely different experiences each worthy of your attention. Near the middle of the park, combining Lassen Peak and neighboring Bumpass Hell into a single day will give you experiences to remember, or you could check out the great hike up Brokeoff Mountain, or walk around a string of pristine lakes.
Further away from the center of the park, an excursion to Cinder Cone is a great day out, and if you have the time check out the spectacular Chaos Crags rockfall.
• Summer through fall is the best time to experience this trail. Snow covers the Lassen landscape for much of the year, closing roads and obscuring trails. See our links below to National Park Service information on road and trail closures.
• Camping is the way to go at Lassen, although the nearby towns of Mineral and Chester offer some motel opportunities.