Lassen Volcanic National Park
P.O. Box 100
Mineral, CA 96063-0100
WELCOME to Lassen Volcanic
To visit Lassen Volcanic National
Park is to witness a brief moment in the ancient battle between the
earth shaping forces of creation and destruction in Northern
California. Nestled within Lassen�s peaceful forests and untouched
wilderness, hissing fumaroles and boiling mud pots still shape and
change the land, evidence of Lassen�s long fiery and active past.
The eruption of Lassen Peak and what it means
On May 22, 1915, an explosive
eruption at Lassen Peak, the southernmost active volcano in the
Cascade Range, devastated nearby areas and rained volcanic ash as
far away as 200 miles to the east. This explosion was the most
powerful in a 1914-17 series of eruptions that were the most recent
to occur in the Cascades prior to the 1980 eruption of Mt. St.
Helens. Lassen Peak is the largest of a group of more than 30
volcanic domes erupted over the past 300,000 years in Lassen
Volcanic National Park.
Explore the Hydrothermal Areas
Hydrothermal (hot water) features at
Lassen Volcanic fascinate visitors to this region of northeastern
California. Boiling mud pots, steaming ground, roaring fumaroles,
and sulfurous gases are linked to active volcanism and are all
reminders of the ongoing potential for eruptions in the Lassen area.
Nowhere else in the Cascade Range of volcanoes can such an array of
hydrothermal features be seen.
Plan Your Visit
Lassen Volcanic National Park
provides a wealth of fun activities that are as varied as the
seasons of the park. Due to the high elevation and influence of the
Pacific Ocean, the park receives upwards of 40 feet of snow per
year. Your access to the interior of the park is dependent upon the
winter's total snowfall which influences the spring/summer road
opening dates. An approximate description of the seasons in the park
is below, keep them in mind as you begin to plan your visit.
Things To Do
Lassen Volcanic National Park's
106,372 acres provide a wealth of fun activities that are as varied
as the seasons of the park.
There are over 150 miles of hiking
trails within the park which range in difficulty from a strenuous 5
mile round-trip hike up Lassen Peak to a gentle 1.85 mile stroll
around Manzanita Lake.
The Main Park Road provides incredible views of the Cascades and
High Sierras, as well as access to mountain lakes and active
There are eight campgrounds within
Lassen Volcanic National Park, and a large part of Lassen's
wilderness is available for wilderness camping with a free permit.
Use the navigation links on the left
side to begin exploring the many activites available at Lassen
Volcanic National Park.
When planning which activities you
want to enjoy while visiting the park, please keep in mind that
access to specific trails, or even the park itself, is dependent on
the weather and snow conditions. In heavy snow years the park road
may open as late as July 21th, but could open as early as May 10th
on light snow years.
For the same reasons, access to many
trails may be restricted or limited to those with snowshoes. The
Bumpass Hell trail usually does not open until early to mid-July.
The Lassen area was a meeting point
for at least four American Indian groups: Atsugewi, Yana, Yahi, and
Maidu. Because of its weather and snow conditions, generally high
elevation, and seasonally mobile deer populations, the Lassen area
was not conducive to year-round living. These Native American groups
camped here in warmer months for hunting and gathering. Basket
makers rather than potters, they left few artifacts other than stone
points, knives, and metals. Some of these artifacts are displayed in
the Loomis Museum, along with replicas of basketry and hunting
devices. Tribal descendents still live in the area and are valuable
partners to the park. Members have worked with the National Park
Service to provide cultural demonstrations and to help visitors
understand both modern and historical tribal culture.
Emigrants and Pioneers
History here generally describes the
period from 1840, even though Jedediah Smith passed through in 1828
on his overland trek to the West Coast. California's gold rush
brought the first settlers. Two pioneer trails, developed by William
Nobles and Peter Lassen, are associated with the park. In 1851,
Nobles discovered an alternate route to California, passing through
Lassen. Sections of the Lassen and Nobles Emigrant Trail are still
visible. Lassen, for whom the park is named, guided settlers near
here and tried to establish a city. Mining, power development
projects, ranching, and timbering were all attempted. The area's
early federal protection saved it from heavy logging.
B.F. Loomis documented Lassen Peak's
most recent eruption cycle and promoted the park's establishment. He
photographed the eruptions, explored geologically, and developed an
extensive museum collection. Artifacts and photographs of the
1914-1915 eruption are on display in the Loomis Museum and are
Did You Know?
John Muir visited Lassen Volcanic National Park and
wrote about his experience in the book Mountains of California.
"Miles of its flanks are reeking and bubbling with hot springs,
many of them so boisterous and sulphurous they seem ever ready to
become spouting geysers..."
Places to Picnic
- Bumpass Hell
- Kings Creek
- Manzanita Lake
Page 1 of 1