Stories of human experience from prehistoric to present day are woven into the landscape of Lassen Volcanic National Park. From American Indians who utilized the Lassen region as a meeting point and seasonal camp, to explorers and pioneers lured by the gold rush and the desire to explore the West; these individuals and groups shaped the park and they way we experience it today.

  • A black and white photo of a man and woman on the summit of a volcanic peak.
    Benjamin Franklin Loomis

    B.F. Loomis' numerous contributions to the park include eruption photographs and Manzanita Lake Area visitor services and facilities.

  • A young girl and older woman sit on a rock wall backed by a building with a sign
    Women of Lassen

    Woman have played an important―though often lesser-known―role in the history of Lassen Volcanic.

  • A woman in a leather shirt and skirt weaves a basket while sitting on animal furs.
    American Indian Tribes

    The Lassen area was a meeting point for at least four American Indian groups: Atsugewi, Yana, Yahi, and Maidu.

  • Two men in black suits standing backed by a barren volcanic peak.
    John Fitzgerald Kennedy

    President Kennedy visited Lassen Volcanic in 1963 on his September Conservation Tour of the Western States.

black and white portrait of man with beard in late 1800s-attire

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.

Adlai Supan at Sulphur Works Lodge

Supans and Sulphur Works

Mathias B. Supan came to America looking for a new life. He found one in northern California at a place he dubbed Dr. Supan's Paint Mine, known today as Sulphur Works. As the area surrounding Sulphur Works became Lassen Volcanic National Park, there was much tension between the Supan family and the park. Both parties saw potential in the Sulphur Works area. In the end, the park was able to purchase what is now a popular stop for visitors to explore Lassen's most accessible hydrothermal area.

Last updated: January 20, 2022

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Mineral, CA 96063


530 595-4480

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