Visitors to Lassen Volcanic Wilderness Are Its Most Important Guardians
The majority of Lassen Volcanic National Park is designated Wilderness, a status afforded to just five percent of America’s public lands. You can enjoy and preserve these wild places by not contributing to recreation-related impacts including: litter, erosion, social trail creation, food-conditioned wildlife, and backcountry campsite widening. Please adhere to regulations and practice Leave No Trace (LNT) principles to help preserve natural conditions and minimize human influence.
Maps of the park including trail distances, topography, and georeferenced PDFs for use with free map reader mobile apps such as Avenza mobile app.
Current trail conditions: these are generally limited to day hiking, but may provide an idea of what to expect in specific areas of the park.
Rangers are not able to assist with trip planning. It is your responsibility to select a route that is suitable to your group's interest and abilities.
Rangers are able to assist with questions regarding permitting, regulations, closures, conditions (when available), and safety. If you have general questions about backpacking or permits, please email us.
Backcountry Camping Closure on East Side of Park
A temporary closure is in place east of Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway, Hat Creek, and Kings Creek (see map below). The expansion of the previous Twin and Rainbow Lakes area closure is in response to one or more black bears obtaining food from backpackers.
Learn more about alternative destinations in and and around the park below.
Learned Behavior Caused by Improper Storage
At least one bear has obtained food and/or scented items that hikers had not stored in bear-resistant containers. After multiple incidents, the bear has learned to associate humans and their equipment with a food reward.
Bear Has Been Unresponsive to Hazing
A black bear has boldly searched campsites and gear even as backpackers yelled and made loud noises.
Protect Yourself—Protect Wildlife
The temporary closure is necessary to reduce negative human and bear interaction and provide the bear(s) a period to return to normal foraging behavior. Learn more about the emergency closure, bear safety, and bear-resistant containers.
Alternative Backpacking Destinations During Temporary Closure
West Side of Lassen Volcanic
A limited number of trails in the Manzanita Lake and Southwest Areas provide access to shorter routes that can be good for a quick trip or first-time backpackers. Miles are round-trip.
Manzanita Creek Trail (7 mi) - Trailhead at the entrance of the Manzanita Campground D Loop
A free permit is required to camp in park backcountry (outside of park campgrounds). A permit is not required for day hiking and is not required if you are staying in an established park campground. There are no designated backcountry campsites or quotas in the park.
COVID-19 Modification: Backcountry camping permits must be obtained via self-registration stations when you arrive to the park. We are not accepting or processing permits by email/mail through the 2020 fall season.
Gather information about your trip and party including entry and exit trailheads, approximate campsite location for each night, emergency contact information, and vehicle make, model, and license number. See all information required for the permit below.
Fill out a permit at an in-park, self-registration station.
Attach the permit to a backpack and display throughout the duration of your trip.
If permits are out of stock please leave your contact information, a brief itinerary, and an emergency contact. All self-registration stations are available 24 hours a day. If you need assistance with self-registration, rangers are available to assist with permit completion at the Loomis Plaza (summer only) or Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center.
Loomis Ranger Station (across from the Loomis Museum)
Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center (in the visitor center vestibule)
Butte Lake Ranger Station (not staffed) -permits not available to due backcountry closure
Warner Valley Ranger Station (occasionally staffed)
Juniper Lake Ranger Station (not staffed) - permits not available to due backcountry closure
Backcountry Permit Instructions
Only one permit is required for each group of up to 10 people.
Warner Valley TH
Backpacking routes are fairly limited from Warner Valley due to the numerous hydrothermal areas where camping is prohibited. You can travel north or south on the Pacific Crest Trail from here or climb Flatiron Ridge to access trails near Kings Creek. Black bears are sighted frequently in the Warner Valley Area.
Butte Lake TH
The parking area is open to day use and overnight users. The trail past Cinder Cone to Snag Lake is composed of sand-like cinders. The shore of Snag Lake offers numerous places to camp. The area also provides a good base camp for day trips to Juniper Lake or Rainbow Lake. Bears have obtained improperly stored food in this area.
Juniper Lake TH
The parking area is open to day use and overnight users and is located at the end of the Juniper Lake Road. There is no drinking water at Juniper Lake, you can treat lake/stream water or bring your own.
Summit Lake TH
The is the most popular and congested trailhead for backcountry camping. We highly recommend beginning your trip at another trailhead to help reduce impact and to make the most of your Wilderness experience.
Kings Creek TH
Parking at this trailhead is extremely limited. Please consider parking at a pullout near the meadow and hiking a short distance to the trailhead. Smaller loops from this trailhead provide good options for short trips or first-time backpackers. Black bears are frequently sighted in the Kings Creek area.