The 30-mile Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway winds around the east side of Lassen Peak and connects the northwest and southwest entrances of the park. Plan for a one-hour drive time, without stops. Travel the highway in either direction and enjoy numerous roadside highlights. The highway is open to through traffic only in the summer months (approximately June through November); vehicle access is limited in the snow season.
Manzanita Lake Area
5,800 feet | 1,765 meters elevation
Located in the northwest corner of the park the Manzanita Lake Area offers the most amenities and is popular with campers and families. Manzanita Lake Campground is the largest in the park and the only campground that offers camping cabins. The nearby Camper Store offers groceries, gas, hot showers, laundromat and other amenities. May visitors stop in at the Loomis Museum to chat with a ranger or participate in a ranger-led program, most of which are offered in the adjacent Loomis Plaza or at the amphitheater near the campground. Nearby, Manzanita Lake offers opportunities for swimming, fishing, and non-motorized boating. The area also offers numerous easy to moderate hiking trails including the 1.8-mile Manzanita Lake Loop and 0.5-mile Lily Pond Nature Trail.
6,700 feet | 2,042 meters elevation
The steep, rugged terrain in the Southwest Area offers dramatic vistas, moderate to difficult hikes including Lassen Peak and Brokeoff Mountain trails, and access to the best-known hydrothermal areas in the park: Sulphur Works and Bumpass Hell. The area also includes trails to the two waterfalls in the park: Kings Creek and Mill Creek falls. The year-round Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center offers information, food, supplies, and souvenirs. Southwest Walk-in is the only campground open year-round and includes camping in vehicles in the adjacent parking area with camping fee.
Butte Lake Area
Butte Lake offers great views of Cinder Cone, the youngest volcano in the park forming a mere 350 years ago in the 1660s. Located in the northeast corner of the park, the Butte Lake region is very different from the rest of the park and was once its own National Monument. Cinder Cone Trail is one of the most challenging hikes at Lassen, but also one of the most rewarding offering spectacular views of the Painted Dunes and Lassen Peak. The Butte Lake Campground offer solitude and is characterized by old growth Jeffery Pines. Explore the eastern half of the park by taking one of the numerous hiking trails leading into spectacular wilderness from Butte Lake trail head. Spend the day kayaking, swimming and fishing in the secluded coves of the lake.
Located in the south-central part of the park, the Warner Valley provides superb outdoor recreation opportunities in a seemingly timeless setting Hike through lush meadows and spot wildlife along trails to some of the park's out-of-the-way hydrothermal areas like Boiling Springs Lake and Devils Kitchen. Drakesbad Guest Ranch is maintained in the style of the 1920's and offers visitor's a rustic retreat experience.
The largest lake in the park is located at the end of a primitive dirt road. The crystal clear snow-fed waters of Juniper Lake are perfect for swimming, kayaking and spending time on the beach. The lookout on Mount Harkness is one of the oldest fire lookouts in the park service and some of the best views of the park and surrounding areas. There are several other great hikes that leave from Juniper Lake as well as a small campground near the lakeshore.
Last updated: August 16, 2022