Thing to Do

Hike Lassen Peak

A family hikes up a rocky a trail above a bright blue alpine lake and distance volcanic peaks.
Lassen Peak Trail features continuous, panoramic views.

Start: Lassen Peak Trailhead
Level of Difficulty: Strenuous 
Round-Trip Distance: 5 miles (8 km)
Time: 4-5 hours
Elevation Start/Gain: 8,500 ft (2591 m) / 1,957 ft (596 m)
Surface: Packed dirt with some lose rock from erosion

Lassen Peak Trail climbs to the summit of one of the largest plug dome volcanoes in the world. Beginning at the Lassen Peak parking area, the trail climbs through twisted mountain hemlock and whitebark pine trees on sand-like cinders. As the trees begin to thin and vistas of the park come into view, the trail steepens into series of switchbacks along a rocky ridge to the summit. The maintained trail ends at the first summit where hikers can read interpretive signs, rest, and enjoy the panoramic view. From there, hikers may continue up the steep route to the true summit or descend into the interior of the crater to explore the remnants of the dramatic eruptions that have rocked this volcano.

How to Hike This Trail Safely

Hiking Lassen Peak Trail involves risk. Learn more about general hiking safety in this high-elevation and remote park. Special considerations for this trail include:

  • Snow Conditions can persist through the summer months. Wear proper footwear and consider using trekking poles to help maintain balance. Travel in the winter months requires winter backcountry travel knowledge and equipment.
  • Sun Exposure is considerable on Lassen Peak Trail. Tree shade may be found in the first mile after which limited shade is available.
  • Sudden Changes in weather occur frequently and snow is possible any month of the year. Get an early start to avoid afternoon storms and lightning. Carry extra layers for warmth.
  • Hiking at High Elevation can aggravate pre-existing medical conditions. Know the effects of altitude. Carry plenty of water, take breaks often, and do not exceed your abilities.

Yield to Uphill Hikers

Please carefully step off to the side of trail to allow uphill hikers to pass or to stop for a break.

Please Stay on the Trail Do Not Cut Switchbacks 

You can enjoy and help preserve one of the park’s oldest and most popular trails by simply staying on it. Traveling off-trail causes damage. Your footsteps can push rocks onto the trail, create pathways for water erosion, and undermine the supporting slope. See hikers straying from the trail? Speak up! A courteous reminder about why it’s important to stay on the trail is usually enough. If not, please report destructive behavior to a park ranger.

Lassen Peak hike may take longer depending on your ability.
You can climb Lassen Peak at any age as long as you are able to do so. Not recommended for small children of persons with health concerns.
Service animal allowed. No pets.
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
Lassen Peak
Lassen Peak is covered with many feet of snow in the winter. There is also avalanche danger. It takes special equipment and training to ascend the mountain in winter.
Time of Day
Accessibility Information
Not accessible to wheelchairs.

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Last updated: July 13, 2022