Book Now
Browse Lodging Options
COVID Info: The Redding Pledge - Fresh Air, Clean Water, Open Spaces
Visit Redding, California
Visit Redding, California
HOME
GROUPS
MEDIA
FILM
BLOG
A bike ride across the Sundial Bridge in Redding, Ca
Two people hiking next to a lake at Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Kayaking and paddleboarding at Shasta Lake
Middle McCloud Falls
Kyle Sheppard
A family at Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark in Redding, CA.

Exploring the Wonders of Lassen Volcanic National Park

By Redding CVB | 10/25/2019 | Biking, Family Friendly , Great Outdoors, Lakes, Paddling, Scenic Drives, Skiing/Snowboarding, Snow Play, Snowmobiling, State & National Parks, Things to See and Do, Trails, Waterfalls, Winter Activities, X-Country Skiing & Snow Shoeing


Redding, California, is known for its big backyard, which includes the southern end of the mighty Cascade Range. A magnificent sample of that scenery—and some fascinating geology—is on display in Lassen Volcanic National Park, which plays host to the southernmost major volcano in the Cascades. Less than an hour’s drive from Redding, the national park features the 10,457-foot-tall Lassen Peak, but that’s only one (magnificent) attraction of many here.

One of Northern California’s crown jewels, the park is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts, outdoor lovers, shutterbugs, and anyone else inspired by the majesty and variety of the American landscape. You’ll find a landscape that’s unlike any other place in the country. Here’s a quick guide to getting the most out of a trip to this unique destination.

Lassen Volcanic National Park: The Basics


Sulphur Works near the southern entrance of Lassen provides bubbling modpots for your viewing pleasure.

Established in 1916 in the midst of Lassen Peak’s most recent major eruptive cycle, Lassen Volcanic National Park ranks among the first generation of U.S. national parks. Today it encompasses more than 100,000 acres near the junction of three great geological and ecological provinces: the Cascades Mountains, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and—to the east—the Great Basin. The park’s northwestern entrance at Manzanita Lake is a straight shot from Redding via State Route 44.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the genuine geological wonderlands in North America, giving you a glimpse of the forces responsible for the Cascade Range. For one thing, you can eyeball four different kinds of volcanoes rubbing shoulders within the park. Start with the hefty stratovolcano (or composite volcano), Mount Tehama, whose eroded rim is represented by the peaks Brokeoff Mountain, Pilot Pinnacle, Mount Diller, Pilot Pinnacle, and Mount Conard.

Then there’s the lineup of cinder cones, the best known of which is the (creatively named) Cinder Cone itself: among the youngest volcanoes in the entire Cascade Range. It juts out in the shadow of 8,338-foot Prospect Peak, which is a fine example of a shield volcano, a category known for its broad, gentle slope.

Unlike like the other “celebrity” Cascade giants (like Mount Hood and Mount Rainier), Lassen Peak itself isn’t a stratovolcano, but instead an enormous lava dome—one of the biggest on the planet. In the spring of 1914, Lassen Peak startled area residents with an outburst of ash and steam. That was the kickoff to a multi-year eruption that climaxed on May 22, 1915, when the volcano sent up a tremendous cloud as high as 35,000 feet. The plume was visible from as far off as Eureka, on the Pacific coast, and it unleashed major pyroclastic flows that created what’s today called the “Devastated Area.”

Beyond the volcanic summits and lava rocks, Lassen also boasts some of the most impressive and varied geothermal features in the country outside of Yellowstone. Colorful (and colorfully named) fumaroles, mud pots, steam vents, and percolating pools can be found in places like Bumpass Hell and Devils Kitchen. You’ll want to spend some time exploring these other-worldly attractions.

Read More

Lassen Day Hiking


Hiking in Lassen Volcanic National Park

It’s only a 5-mile round-trip hike to the crown of Lassen Peak, though you do have to overcome about 2,000 feet of elevation gain. Besides the bragging rights that come with summiting one of the great Cascade volcanoes, you’ll also nab an unrivaled bird’s-eye perspective of the Devastated Area below.

Another highly recommended “peak-bagging” adventure is the 4-mile round-trip climb up Cinder Cone. At the top you’ll have a beautiful view of Lassen Peak as well as the closer landmarks of Prospect Peak, the Painted Dunes (dreamily multicolored ash hills), and the Fantastic Lava Beds (basalt flows spewed from the base of Cinder Cone). A hair shorter than that hike is the walk to and from the historic fire lookout atop Mount Harkness, a shield volcano whose sightlines stretch north all the way to the Three Sisters in the Oregon Cascades, east into the Great Basin drylands of Nevada, and west to the California Coast Ranges.

Yet another scenic showstopper at Lassen is the 40-foot horsetail plunge of Kings Creek Falls, reachable via a 2.3-mile out-and-back or loop hike. The 1.5-mile circumambulation of Manzanita Lake is an easy, all-ages immersion in a splendid Cascade waterfront.

The park’s Warner Valley Road provides access to short hiking trails that lead to several outstanding roadless geothermal features, including the gurgling steam realm of Devils Kitchen, the infernal Boiling Springs Lake, and the supersized steam vent of Terminal Geyser.

Read More

Lassen Lakes


Summer and water recreation with views on Manzanita Lake.

Lassen Volcanic National Park contains a number of eye-catching lakes, the largest of which is Juniper Lake in the southeast (accessible by a partly unpaved road out of Chester). In the northwest, Manzanita Lake—formed a few hundred years ago when a rockslide dammed Manzanita Creek—serves up just about the most celebrated view of Lassen Peak, and it is an awesome place to take out a kayak. In the northeast, meanwhile, Butte Lake offers photogenic prospects of Cinder Cone, in addition to swimming and boating opportunities.

Pedaling the Park

7LMmga1OlBhOXrbLahZr4S
In the spring, the park’s roads are first opened up to cyclists and hikers. LassenNPS

Alongside hoofing it on a hiking trail and paddling one of the lakes, cycling is a great way to experience the scale and splendor of Lassen Volcanic National Park in full fresh-air mode. The park’s roadways (though not trails) are open to bicycles. And heads up: The yearly Hike and Bike the Highway tradition allows cyclists (and hikers) to travel sections of the main park road after they’ve been plowed in the spring but before it’s been opened to vehicles.

Scenic Driving in Lassen


The park’s through-road is the Lassen Volcanic National Highway, which winds some 30 miles between the southwest entry near the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center and Manzanita Lake. It’s an excellent showcase for Lassen’s landscapes, cutting directly across the Sulphur Works geothermal zone and the Devastated Area, skirting the Chaos Crags and Chaos Jumbles—a rugged tract of youthful volcanism and rockslides—and topping out at more than 8,500 feet at the Lassen Peak Trailhead.

Read More

Lassen in Winter



While the roads are closed in the winter, visitors can still explore the park on a ranger-led snowshoe hike. LassenNPS

Road access inside Lassen typically phases out in October, but that’s by no means the end of the park’s season. The area’s hefty dousing by the white stuff translates to rich snowshoeing and cross-country skiing opportunities. Besides self-guided treks, you’ve got regular ranger-led snowshoe outings in the winter, with a pair of snowshoes available to use for a mere $1 suggested donation. The tours usually run January through March.

No matter when you visit, Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the treasures of the entire Cascade Range. From the snowbound depths of winter to the sun-splashed summer backcountry, it’s a year-round destination crowned by one extraordinary “fire mountain.” Make Redding your base camp to explore this natural wonder.

Written by Ethan Shaw for Matcha in partnership with Redding CVB.

Read More
7 Reasons Redding is the Perfect Place for your Mini-moon
By the time wedding bells ring, you’ve spent months planning your big day—finding the right cake, figuring out invitations, hiring a photographer, and on it goes. Even if you can’t celebrate with a once-in-a-lifetime trip to some far-flung destination, you…
READ MORE
Why Redding is the Perfect Spot for Adventurous Couples
Redding’s the heart of Northern California and one of the Golden State’s premier launchpads for adventure. For outdoors-loving couples, there’s no better place for a getaway—especially given you can combine all that outdoor exploration and thrill-seeking with fantastic accommodations, great…
READ MORE
The Best 5 Fishing Spots Around Redding
Anglers from all over the world have long been drawn to the streams, creeks, and rivers around Redding—and for good reason; the fish bite all year long. It’s so popular, Forbes listed Redding as a “Top 10 Trout Fishing Town…
READ MORE
An Insider's Guide to Mt. Shasta Ski Park
Since 1985, Mt. Shasta Ski Park has distinguished itself with more of a local feel, bypassing the gaudy corporate features at nearby resorts for a more comfortable, down-home vibe that caters to skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. In all,…
READ MORE
The Joys of Snowshoeing the Lassen Volcanoes
The roughly 106,000-acre Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of Northern California’s geological masterpieces and it’s also one of the great winter playgrounds in Redding’s big backyard. This gorgeous highland realm at the far south end of the Cascade Range—just…
READ MORE
How to Have a Perfect Girls Weekend in Redding, California
There are times in life when all you need is a quiet (or maybe rambunctious) weekend away with the girls. There’s no better place for these get-togethers than one that puts outdoor adventure, shopping, arts and culture, and wining and…
READ MORE
6 Places to Catch a Stunning Sunset in Redding, CA
Greater Redding’s spectacular setting—this Northern California crossroads of the Cascades, the Klamaths, the Coast Ranges, the Central Valley, and the Great Basin—looks mighty good in any light, but it’s hard to beat the painted splendor of sunset. Golden sheen over…
READ MORE
Best Waterfall Hikes in Redding, CA During the Shoulder Season
Every spring, snowmelt trickles off the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges, flows through gorges and canyons formed by volcanic rock, and powers its way through towering forests. Where does it end up? In part, it makes up the nearly…
READ MORE
10 Reasons To Enjoy Redding, According to the Locals
When you want to explore the outdoor beauty of Northern California, Redding is the place to go. The town serves as the perfect base camp for adventure, as it’s surrounded by mountains, rivers, lakes, and forests. You’ll find state and…
READ MORE
5 Hiking Adventures With Rewarding Views In and Around Redding, CA
The entire state of California is covered in some of the best hiking in the world, though the northern part is particularly blessed with incredible hiking trails. Redding is a hot spot for adventurers all over the world, due to…
READ MORE
An Insider's Guide to Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
This spot is perfect for anyone who loves to be on or in water: anglers, paddlers, swimmers, water skiers, and sailors.
READ MORE
Road Trips Worth Taking From Redding to Fit Any Schedule
Horizons are meant to be chased. Lucky for you, the UpStateCA wilderness offers a variety of sight lines to keep you entertained for that windshield time. Volcanoes, mountain peaks, crystal clear alpine lakes, multiple national forests, wildflowers and sweeping meadows…
READ MORE
9 Ways to Enjoy the Outdoors in Redding This Spring
Redding is perfectly situated in the middle of a nature-enthusiast mecca. The largest city in the Shasta Cascade region – known as UpState CA – surrounded by mountains, natural wonders with majestic waterfalls, scenic lakes and rivers, volcanic activity and…
READ MORE
7 Ways to Discover the Fascinating History of Redding, CA
A trip to Redding, California, means that you’re going to be surrounded by forested mountains, gorgeous valleys, and scenic lakes. But in addition to the physical beauty of the region, you’ll also find a rich history of the people who’ve…
READ MORE
March 2020 Events In Redding You Can't Miss
Planning a trip to Redding and looking for events, festivals, concerts and things to do in March in 2020? The weather is turning nice, early spring blooms are beginning and there isn't a better time to visit Redding for a…
READ MORE
Going Underground in Redding: An Insider's Guide
Sitting at the southern edge of the Cascade Range, Redding, California, has long been a literal hotbed for volcanic activity. Mt. Shasta lords over the horizon, Lassen Volcanic National Park sits an hour’s drive east, and millions of years of…
READ MORE
7 Accessible Hikes in Redding, CA That Can Be Enjoyed By All Levels
Redding sits in—and is surrounded by—no shortage of natural beauty. No matter your level of hiking ability, you can find accessible trails throughout the region that make it easy to see those sights without a demanding, heart-pumping trek.
READ MORE
9 Reasons Your Kids Will Love the Turtle Bay Exploration Park and Museum
From animal shows and playgrounds to butterflies and birds this recreation area will keep your kids entertained for hours.
READ MORE
An Empty Nester Guide to a Great Weekend in Redding
Family vacations don’t have to end when the kids leave home. With pleasant weather all year long, a busy calendar full of arts and culture events, and no shortage of outdoor adventure, Redding, California, is a great spot for an…
READ MORE
A Fly Fishing Guide to Redding, CA
Situated along the Sacramento River and surrounded by mountains on three sides, Redding has fishing opportunities for multiple species in nearly every direction, and it has a fly-fishing and outdoor culture that makes the end of the day that much…
READ MORE


OUR PARTNERS
Board of Directors Information Contact Us Website Developed by Drozian Webworks