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Discover the Four Types of Volcanoes in Lassen Volcanic National Park


Lassen Volcanic National Park: A Guide to Exploring One of America's Most Diverse and Spectacular Parks




Lassen Volcanic National Park is a hidden gem in northern California that offers a stunning variety of landscapes, wildlife, and geothermal features. From snow-capped mountains and bubbling mud pots to serene lakes and colorful wildflowers, this park has something for everyone. Whether you're looking for a relaxing getaway, an adventurous hike, or a learning experience, you'll find it here.




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In this article, we'll give you an overview of what Lassen Volcanic National Park is, why you should visit it, how to get there, what to see and do, how to plan your trip, and how to download the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map of the park. By the end of this article, you'll be ready to pack your bags and head to one of the most amazing places in the country.


Introduction




What is Lassen Volcanic National Park?




Lassen Volcanic National Park is a national park in northeastern California that covers an area of 106,372 acres. It was established in 1916 and is named after Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world and one of the four types of volcanoes found in the park. The other three types are shield, composite, and cinder cone volcanoes.


The park is part of the Cascade Range, a mountain chain that stretches from British Columbia to northern California. The park is also part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a zone of volcanic activity that encircles the Pacific Ocean. The park contains over 30 volcanic domes and hundreds of hydrothermal features such as fumaroles, hot springs, boiling pools, and mud pots.


The park is home to diverse ecosystems and habitats, ranging from alpine tundra and subalpine forests to meadows and wetlands. The park hosts more than 700 species of plants and 250 species of animals, including black bears, mountain lions, mule deer, coyotes, bobcats, porcupines, squirrels, chipmunks, woodpeckers, hawks, owls, eagles, hummingbirds, butterflies, and dragonflies.


Why visit Lassen Volcanic National Park?




Lassen Volcanic National Park is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves nature, adventure, and history. Here are some of the reasons why you should visit this park:



  • It's one of the few places in the world where you can see all four types of volcanoes in one park.



  • It's one of the least crowded and most accessible national parks in the country, with only about 500,000 visitors per year and a main road that traverses the park from north to south.



  • It's one of the most geologically active and diverse parks in the country, with over 150 miles of trails that take you to spectacular views, fascinating formations, and thermal wonders.



  • It's one of the most scenic and photogenic parks in the country, with stunning contrasts of colors, textures, and shapes throughout the seasons.



  • It's one of the most educational and informative parks in the country, with a visitor center, a museum, interpretive signs, ranger programs, and guided tours that teach you about the park's history, geology, ecology, and culture.



How to get to Lassen Volcanic National Park?




Lassen Volcanic National Park is located about 50 miles east of Redding, California, and about 200 miles north of Sacramento, California. The nearest airports are Redding Municipal Airport (RDD) and Sacramento International Airport (SMF). From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle bus to the park.


The park has two main entrances: the north entrance near Manzanita Lake and the south entrance near Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center. The park is open year-round, but some roads and facilities may be closed or limited due to snow or maintenance. The main road that connects the two entrances is Highway 89, also known as the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway. This road is usually open from late May to late October, depending on weather conditions. You can check the current road status on the park's website or by calling (530) 595-4480.


The park charges an entrance fee of $30 per vehicle or $15 per person for a seven-day pass. You can also purchase an annual pass for $55 or a lifetime pass for $80 if you're 62 years or older. You can pay the fee at the entrance stations or online. You can also use your America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass to enter the park for free.


What to see and do in Lassen Volcanic National Park




The main attractions of Lassen Volcanic National Park




Lassen Volcanic National Park has many attractions that showcase its volcanic and geothermal features. Here are some of the most popular ones:


Lassen Peak




Lassen Peak is the centerpiece of the park and the most prominent landmark in the region. It stands at 10,457 feet above sea level and is visible from miles away. It's also the largest plug dome volcano in the world and one of the most active volcanoes in North America. It last erupted between 1914 and 1917, creating a series of explosions, lava flows, mudflows, and ash clouds that reshaped the landscape and attracted national attention.


Today, you can hike to the summit of Lassen Peak and enjoy panoramic views of the park and beyond. The trail is 5 miles round-trip and gains about 2,000 feet in elevation. It's a strenuous hike that requires good physical condition and proper gear. The trail is usually open from July to October, depending on snow conditions. You can access the trailhead from Highway 89 near Lake Helen.


Bumpass Hell




Bumpass Hell is the largest hydrothermal area in the park and one of the most impressive sights in California. It covers an area of 16 acres and contains over 80 features such as fumaroles, hot springs, boiling pools, mud pots, and steam vents. The area is named after Kendall Bumpass, a pioneer who discovered it in 1864 and lost his leg after stepping into a boiling pool.


You can explore Bumpass Hell by following a boardwalk trail that winds through the area and offers close-up views of the features. The trail is 3 miles round-trip and descends about 300 feet in elevation. It's a moderate hike that requires caution and respect for the fragile environment. The trail is usually open from July to October, depending on snow conditions. You can access the trailhead from Highway 89 near Lake Helen.


Cinder Cone




eruptions in the 17th century, creating a crater, a lava flow, and a lava bed. The volcano is composed of loose scoria and ash that give it a dark and rugged appearance.


You can hike to the top of Cinder Cone and enjoy views of the crater, the lava flow, and the surrounding scenery. The trail is 4 miles round-trip and climbs about 850 feet in elevation. It's a challenging hike that requires stamina and perseverance. The trail is usually open from June to October, depending on snow conditions. You can access the trailhead from Butte Lake Campground.


Manzanita Lake




Manzanita Lake is a beautiful lake that was formed by a lava dam and is fed by snowmelt. It's located near the north entrance of the park and is one of the most accessible and popular destinations in the park. It has a surface area of 0.5 square miles and a depth of 30 feet.


You can enjoy various activities at Manzanita Lake, such as fishing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, picnicking, and wildlife watching. You can also hike around the lake on a 1.8-mile loop trail that offers views of Lassen Peak and other mountains. The lake is open year-round, but some facilities may be closed or limited in winter. You can access the lake from Highway 89 near Manzanita Lake Campground.


The best hikes in Lassen Volcanic National Park




Lassen Volcanic National Park has over 150 miles of trails that range from easy to strenuous and from short to long. You can find trails for every skill level and interest, whether you want to see waterfalls, lakes, meadows, forests, or volcanoes. Here are some of the best hikes in the park:


Kings Creek Falls Trail




Kings Creek Falls Trail is a 3-mile round-trip trail that takes you to a spectacular 40-foot waterfall that cascades over a cliff. The trail descends about 700 feet in elevation and follows Kings Creek through a lush forest and a meadow. The trail has two options: a steep and rocky route or a gentle and scenic route. Both routes end at a viewing platform that overlooks the waterfall.


The trail is a moderate hike that requires good footwear and water. The trail is usually open from June to October, depending on snow conditions. You can access the trailhead from Highway 89 near Kings Creek Picnic Area.


Brokeoff Mountain Trail




Brokeoff Mountain Trail is a 7-mile round-trip trail that takes you to the summit of Brokeoff Mountain, which is the remnant of an ancient volcano that collapsed and eroded over time. The trail climbs about 2,600 feet in elevation and passes through various habitats such as forests, meadows, streams, and springs. The trail offers stunning views of Lassen Peak, Mount Shasta, and other mountains.


The trail is a strenuous hike that requires excellent physical condition and proper gear. The trail is usually open from July to October, depending on snow conditions. You can access the trailhead from Highway 89 near Sulphur Works.


Lassen Peak Trail




Lassen Peak Trail is a 5-mile round-trip trail that takes you to the summit of Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world and one of the most active volcanoes in North America. The trail gains about 2,000 feet in elevation and follows a switchback path that was built in 1925. The trail offers panoramic views of the park and beyond.


The trail is a strenuous hike that requires good physical condition and proper gear. The trail is usually open from July to October, depending on snow conditions. You can access the trailhead from Highway 89 near Lake Helen.


Mill Creek Falls Trail




Mill Creek Falls Trail is a 3.8-mile round-trip trail that takes you to the highest waterfall in the park at 75 feet high. The trail descends about 500 feet in elevation and follows Mill Creek through a forested valley. The trail ends at a viewpoint that overlooks the waterfall and the canyon.


The trail is a moderate hike that requires good footwear and water. The trail is usually open from June to October, depending on snow conditions. You can access the trailhead from Highway 89 near Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center.


The best camping spots in Lassen Volcanic National Park




Lassen Volcanic National Park has eight campgrounds that offer a variety of amenities and locations. You can find campgrounds for every preference and budget, whether you want to be close to the main attractions, the lakes, or the wilderness. Here are some of the best campgrounds in the park:


Manzanita Lake Campground




Manzanita Lake Campground is the largest and most popular campground in the park. It's located near the north entrance of the park and has 179 sites for tents and RVs. It has flush toilets, showers, drinking water, picnic tables, fire rings, a dump station, a camp store, a laundry facility, and a boat rental. It also has a group site and a cabin site. The campground is open year-round, but some facilities may be closed or limited in winter. You can reserve a site online or by phone, or find a site on a first-come, first-served basis.


Summit Lake Campground




Summit Lake Campground is a scenic and serene campground in the park. It's located near the south entrance of the park and has 94 sites for tents and RVs. It has vault toilets, drinking water, picnic tables, fire rings, and a boat launch. It also has two group sites. The campground is open from late May to late October, depending on weather conditions. You can reserve a site online or by phone, or find a site on a first-come, first-served basis.


Butte Lake Campground




Butte Lake Campground is a remote and rustic campground in the park. It's located near the northeast corner of the park and has 101 sites for tents and RVs. It has vault toilets, drinking water, picnic tables, fire rings, and a boat launch. It also has two group sites. The campground is open from late May to late October, depending on weather conditions. You can reserve a site online or by phone, or find a site on a first-come, first-served basis.


Juniper Lake Campground




Juniper Lake Campground is a secluded and primitive campground in the park. It's located near the southeast corner of the park and has 18 sites for tents only. It has vault toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, and a boat launch. The campground is open from late June to late September, depending on weather conditions. You can find a site on a first-come, first-served basis only.


How to plan your trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park




When to visit Lassen Volcanic National Park




Lassen Volcanic National Park is open year-round, but the best time to visit depends on what you want to see and do. Here are some general guidelines:



  • If you want to see the park in full bloom and enjoy all the activities and facilities, visit from July to September when most of the snow has melted and the weather is warm and dry.



  • If you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy cooler temperatures and fall colors, visit from September to October when the park is less busy and more peaceful.



  • If you want to experience the park in winter and enjoy snowshoeing, skiing, sledding, and ice fishing, visit from November to April when most of the park is covered in snow and the weather is cold and snowy.



  • If you want to witness the park's transition from winter to spring and enjoy wildflowers and waterfalls, visit from April to June when some of the roads and trails start to reopen and the weather is mild and wet.



What to pack for Lassen Volcanic National Park




Lassen Volcanic National Park has a varied climate that changes with elevation and season. You should pack accordingly and be prepared for any weather conditions. Here are some essential items you should pack for your trip:



  • A valid ID and your entrance fee or pass.



  • A map and guidebook of the park or a downloaded version on your phone.



  • A backpack with water bottles, snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, first aid kit, flashlight, whistle, matches or lighter, knife or multi-tool, compass or GPS device, binoculars or camera.



, pots or pans, plates or bowls, cups or mugs, utensils or cutlery, cooler or ice, food or drinks.


  • A clothing and footwear that suit the season and the activity, such as hats or caps, sunglasses or goggles, jackets or coats, sweaters or hoodies, shirts or tops, pants or shorts, socks or stockings, boots or shoes, gloves or mittens, scarves or neck warmers.



  • A personal hygiene and toiletry items such as toothbrush or toothpaste, soap or shampoo, towel or washcloth, deodorant or perfume, comb or brush, razor or shaving cream, toilet paper or tissues, feminine products or diapers.



  • A fun and entertainment items such as books or magazines, games or cards, music or podcasts, movies or shows, toys or crafts.



Where to stay near Lassen Volcanic National Park




Lassen Volcanic National Park has eight campgrounds that offer a variety of amenities and locations. You can find campgrounds for every preference and budget, whether you want to be close to the main attractions, the lakes, or the wilderness. You can reserve a site online or by phone, or find a site on a first-come, first-served basis.


If you prefer to stay in a hotel or a lodge near the park, you have several options to choose from. Here are some of the best ones:



  • Drakesbad Guest Ranch: This is a historic and rustic lodge that offers 19 rooms and cabins with private bathrooms and hot springs. It also offers a restaurant, a bar, a pool, a spa, a sauna, a horseback riding stable, and a gift shop. It's located inside the park near Warner Valley. It's open from June to October and requires advance reservations.



  • Highlands Ranch Resort: This is a modern and cozy lodge that offers 10 rooms and suites with private bathrooms and fireplaces. It also offers a restaurant, a bar, a lounge, a patio, a garden, and a gift shop. It's located outside the park near Mill Creek. It's open year-round and requires advance reservations.



, and a business center. It's located outside the park near Chester. It's open year-round and requires advance reservations.


  • Lassen Mineral Lodge: This is a quaint and charming lodge that offers 21 rooms and cabins with private bathrooms and microwaves. It also offers a restaurant, a bar, a store, a playground, and a picnic area. It's located outside the park near Mineral. It's open year-round and requires advance reservations.



How to download the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map of Lassen Volcanic National Park




If you want to have a detailed and accurate map of Lassen Volcanic National Park, you can download the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map of the park. This map is a high-quality and waterproof map that shows the park's boundaries, roads, trails, campgrounds, attractions, and features. It also includes information on the park's history, geology, ecology, and culture.


You can download the map from the National Geographic website or from the Avenza Maps app. You can also buy a printed version of the map from the National Geographic store or from the park's visitor centers. The map costs $14.95 for the digital version or $14.99 for the printed version.


Conclusion




Lassen Volcanic National Park is a remarkable place that deserves your attention and appreciation. It's one of the most diverse and spectacular parks in the country, with a rich volcanic and geothermal heritage, a stunning natural beauty, and a fascinating history and culture. Whether you're looking for a relaxing getaway, an adventurous hike, or a learning experience, you'll find it here.


We hope this article has given you an overview of what Lassen Volcanic National Park is, why you should visit it, how to get there, what to see and do, how to plan your trip, and how to download the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map of the park. By following our tips and suggestions, you'll be able to enjoy your trip to the fullest and create unforgettable memories.


So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park today and discover one of America's most amazing places.


FAQs




Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Lassen Volcanic National Park:



  • How long should I spend in Lassen Volcanic National Park?



, or explore some of the less visited areas such as Warner Valley or Juniper Lake.


  • What are the best times to visit Lassen Volcanic National Park?



The best times to visit Lassen Volcanic National Park depend on what you want to see and do. Generally, the peak season is from July to September when most of the snow has melted and the weather is warm and dry. This is also the busiest and most crowded time, so you may want to make reservations in advance or arrive early. The shoulder season is from September to October when the park is less busy and more peaceful. This is also a good time to enjoy cooler temperatures and fall colors. The off-season is from November to April when most of the park is covered in snow and the weather is cold and snowy. This is a great time to experience the park in winter and enjoy snowshoe


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