Last updated: February 24, 2021
Start: Lily Pond Trailhead, across highway from Loomis Museum
Round Trip Distance: 0.5 miles
Round Trip Time: 1 hour (with stops)
Elevation: 5,890 ft
Elevation Change: Negligible
Surface: Dirt with tree roots and exposed rock in places, may be soft/wet in spots.
Season: May through October (when snow-free)
This half-mile, self-led interpretive walk explores the rich diversity of plant and animal life in this unique volcanic landscape. It is ideal for families with young children or anyone looking for a short and relatively flat walk. A portion of the trail overlaps the Reflection Lake Loop, which offers spectacular views of Lassen Peak and Chaos Crags on its northern shore. A leaflet includes stop descriptions that correspond to numbered posts on the trail. A $0.50 donation is request for the leaflet, which is available at the trailhead located directly across the park highway from the Loomis Museum.
Parking is available across the highway at the Loomis Plaza, although the parking area is often full in the summer season. Additional parking is available at the Manzanita Lake Day Use Area, which connects to the Loomis Plaza via a short section of the Manzanita Lake Trail. Bikes and pets are not permitted on park trails. Strollers and wheelchairs are not recommended as the trail is rocky in some sections.
How to Walk This Trail Safely
Walking any park trail involves risk. This trail is appropriate for all ages, however all visitors should be familiar with general hiking safety in this high-elevation and remote park, including:
- Wear proper footwear (good tread, ankle support, closed toe). Knee and ankle injuries are the most common visitor injury in the park.
- Hiking at high elevation can aggravate preexisting medical conditions. Know the effects of altitude. Carry plenty of water, take breaks often, and do not exceed your abilities.
Using the guide and reading each stop takes approximately one hour.
This half-mile, self-led interpretive walk explores the rich diversity of plant and animal life in this unique volcanic landscape.
Pets are not permitted on park trails, including in a carrier. Learn more about visiting with pets. This regulation does not apply to service animals assisting a person with a disability. A service animal, as described by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) performs a specific task for a disabled person.
There is no fee to walk the Lily Pond Interpretive Trail. An entrance fee or valid pass is required to enter Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Lily Pond Trailhead is located near the Northwest Entrance in the Manzanita Lake Area, across the park highway from the Loomis Museum.
There are no reservations for park entrance or for walking the Lily Pond Interpretive Trail.
Lily Pond Interpretive Trailhead is located at 5,890 feet in elevation. Snow can linger on the Lily Pond Interpretive Trail well into April. The trail is best enjoyed without snow; typically May through October.
The composition of the trail is dirt and rock. Most of the trail is flat with the exception of two short, steep areas. There is one footbridge crossing.
Service animals assisting a person with a disability are permitted on park trails. A service animal, as described by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) performs a specific task for a disabled person.