Nature will always be the greatest reprieve. That was my takeaway after spending a few days exploring California’s Lassen Volcanic National Park. I’ve heard this national park in California described a few ways, and I’m returning to concur:它是最被低估的国家公园,我探讨的一个. Lassen Volcanic National Park delighted with surprises — from geothermal activity, hikes, to wildlife, there was everything you could hope for and more.

When it comes to things to do in Lassen Volcanic National Park, this travel guide will give you some ideas on how to spend your time. The big takeaway? A slow-paced weekend here will give you an idealized way to experience the park. It’s not one to rush through, not one that you can go from one spot to the next. Many of the gems indeed require some time and the reward far exceeds the effort.


So it’s with great joy that I share this travel guide to California’s Lassen Volcanic National Park. Mostly because as a local to Northern California, I’m still discovering gems like this. And importantly, it’s another opportunity to be socially distanced and connected to nature.


A Travel Guide to California's Lassen Volcanic National Park


This is the ultimate road trip destination when it comes to visiting national parks. You’ll certainly need a car to get to Volcanic National Park. It’s around 3.5 hours from Sacramento by car. Its location is remote when it comes to nearby destinations. The closest major cities would be Redding or Red Bluff.


Some timing and planning are necessary for visiting Volcanic National, mostly due to the limited services. At the time of this being written (August 1, 2020), the park has limited what is open. I’d highly recommend visiting the国家公园管理局网站之前使你的计划,看看有什么是开放的,因为它可能会改变。


You will most likely need to bring all meals if staying in the park or visiting mid-week. There are some services outside of the park, just have to be okay with making the drive. At Manzanita Lake, the camper store is open which does have food.

If you search images of the park, you’ll notice the area does get quite a bit of snow. Road closures do occur, so I’d personally recommend this as a late spring to early fall destination if you plan to hike. Some hiking trails do close to snow hazards and this is all updated on the NPS website.

Amount of Time in Lassen
We did two nights and didn’t quite get to it all. I think three nights would be better to have another sunset or truly spend a full three days/two nights.

他alth & Safety
Please bring a mask when hiking so you could pop it on when passing other people and maintain 6 feet from others. I’d recommend reading our如何负责任旅游在加利福尼亚州指南. One of the few things to consider when visiting is wildlife, especially if you plan to go backpacking. It is bear country, so be bear aware when hiking. And as always


There are a few options for your stay in the area. We opted to rent aWestfalia运用Outdoorsy. It was such a wonderful experience and a great way to explore the park. The benefit of having the Westfalia was that we had a kitchen/fridge with us at all times. We parked at a campsite south of the park and will share details below:

Camp atMill Creek Resort Campground
这是我们停了Westfalia在每个夜晚。依偎旁边的一条小溪这个私人营地是一个真正的宝石和我见过的最迷人的地方之一。每个营地都有足够的空间,共17点($ 20 /晚提前预定)。他们有斑点停放RV的还有,提供私人小木屋出租作为替代。该位置是30分钟左右进入园区。有社区淋浴/抽水马桶也是如此。对于那些寻找不与人叠起来露营经验,这是它。我建议11-17点,如果你能。


With Mill Creek Resort being my preference, I’d still recommend there first if possible. Since many have sent messages that they’re full for your dates, I’d then recommend Manzanita Lake Campground as an alternate.

Highlands Ranch Resort
We drove by this property in Mill Creek a few times and it looked like a great option for those looking for a hotel experience. It’s not too far from the park and offers an option if you’re not camping or looking for a cabin.


A Travel Guide to California's Lassen Volcanic National Park

Discover Bumpass Hell

One of the most active geothermal areas in all of the parks is Bumpass Hell. From mud pots to turquoise bubbling waters, this trail takes you out to a hot spring area. Boardwalks are laid out so you can safely visit the geothermal areas of this part of the park. Please stay on the trail here. Another great area to see geothermal activity in the park is Sulphur Works (park in the lot and walk along the side of the road to see).

A Travel Guide to California's Lassen Volcanic National Park



A Travel Guide to California's Lassen Volcanic National Park

Stroll and Sunset at Manzanita Lake


A Travel Guide to California's Lassen Volcanic National Park


If you do one large hike outside of Lassen Peak, let it be Cinder Cone. You will need to drive out of the park and then down a dirt road which brings you to the trailhead which starts at Butte Lake Campground. As you climb up this volcano, you’ll find the trail is very challenging due to the gravel nature of the trail. But once you get to the top of it, the views are incredible. One of the unique things you can see here is the Painted Dunes (recommend 70-200mm lens to capture). This would be an epic spot for sunrise or sunset as well.

A Travel Guide to California's Lassen Volcanic National Park

Other Hiking Trails

One of the most famous trails is to make the climb up Lassen Peak (one of the largest plug dome volcanos in the world). You’ll need some time and effort to do this, I recommend referring to All Trails for a guide. The other hike we did which we loved was King’s Creek (we did a short loop). It follows along the creek and then steep stairs border a waterfall.

A Travel Guide to California's Lassen Volcanic National Park




你将to want many layers for your trip here as the weather is always cooler than the rest of California due to the elevation. Hiking gear is also recommended.

Find my full hiking essentials guide here.




  1. 阿凡达

    Thank you for a beautiful and inspiring photo series and article.
    Anita xxx

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