Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory
Search for California Campgrounds Near Remotely Beautiful Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park is a remote, isolated park in Northern California that offers many activities and a rare Californian treat... solitude. It is located in the southern portion of the Cascade Range making this a mountainous, high elevation park. Lassen Volcanic National Park is not only home to the largest plug dome volcano in the world, Lassen Peak, but is one of the only places on Earth where all four types of volcano on Earth can be found: plug dome, cinder cone, shield and strato. In addition to the diverse collection of volcanoes, the park’s hydrothermal area is filled with churning hot springs, boiling mud pots, and fumaroles (volcanic-gas and steam vents). Annual rain and snow falls feed the hydrothermal system, keeping this unique park very active. Streams, rivers and lakes surrounded by pine and fir fill the park, making it a beautiful California natural attraction.
To locate a Woodall’s approved California campground near the park, visit one of these
Due to the high elevation of the park combined with Pacific Ocean influences, the park receives over 40 feet of snow annually. Access to the park greatly depends on snow levels, meaning the roads into the Park interior may open as early as May, or remain snowed in until mid-July. Summers tend to be warm and dry and usually begin mid-July and last through mid September. Snow commonly lingers in the higher elevations (8,000+ feet) until August. Fall sets in around mid-September, and the weather becomes mild during the day and cooler at night. Thunderstorms are common, as is light snow in October. Winter begins to really settle in around November, bringing with it lots of cold temperatures and snow.
Solitude is easily obtained in the Park during the long winter as areas of the park become inaccessible when roads are snowed over. Spring arrives in April, bringing with it warmer days and less snow, although temperatures often drop below freezing and road openings depend entirely on snow fall. While the park is open 365 days a year, access to all areas truly does depend on the weather, so be sure to check access before going.
There is a $10 fee to enter the park, which is valid for 7 days. A yearly pass is $25, while an annual inter-agency pass that gets you into most national parks across the country costs $80.
Lassen Volcanic National Park boasts over 150 miles of hiking trails, which are as diverse as the park itself. For example, there is a strenuous 5-mile roundtrip hike up Lassen Peak, an active but dormant volcano, that rewards you with a beautiful view that overlooks the entire park. There is also still plenty of evidence of the last eruptions of Lassen Peak, which was in 1914-17. The view of the Devastated Area from the summit, combined with the lingering rotten egg smell of the hydrogen-sulfide, really allows you to contemplate the power of a volcano.
Then, in contrast, there is an easy, relaxing 1.5 mile hike along Manzanita Lake that follows the shoreline, shaded by beautiful pines and bordered by lush willows and other plants. The trail is best known for a tremendously beautiful view of Lassen Peak and Chaos Crags behind the lake. Wildlife abounds around the lake, including beavers, ducks, geese and muskrats, as well as other birds, including woodpeckers, and deer.
There are many other hikes throughout the park, as well as great fishing spots, places to swim, horseback ride, go boating or kayaking, and in winter, skiing and cross country skiing. To get a great view of the park without ever leaving the comfort of your car, the Main Park Road offers spectacular views of the park, the Cascade Mountain range, and the High Sierras. It also has direct access to many hiking trails, lakes, and hydrothermal areas. This unique and gorgeous Park has something to offer for everyone and is one of the few places on Earth like it.
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