Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park

National Park · Northern California


Lassen Volcanic National Park is a United States National Park in northeastern California. The dominant feature of the park is Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world and the southern-most volcano in the Cascade Range. Lassen Volcanic National Park started as two separate national monuments designated by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907: Cinder Cone National Monument and Lassen Peak National Monument.

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Known for its remarkable hydrothermal features, Lassen Volcanic National Park offers visitors a glimpse of plopping mud pots, bubbling pools, and roaring steam vents, as well as Lassen Peak – the largest plug dome volcano in the world. Spring and summer visits are perfect for touring the park’s mud pots and boiling pools (just keep your feet on the walkways!), and winter is great for snowshoeing through the park.
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You can enjoy the dark night sky in California’s Lassen Volcanic National Park nearly anywhere in the park, since there are very few lights in the park at night. To further improve your view of the night sky, move away from buildings, headlights, or camp lights, but be careful to avoid areas that are wet or have uneven terrain. Though stars are more visible when the moon is new or below the horizon, experienced hikers can also enjoy a full moon hike along some trails in the park.
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Native American groups, including Atsugewi, Yana, Yahi, and Maidu camped along the landscapes of Lassen Volcanic National Park in warmer months when hunting and gathering potential was at its peak. Artifacts left behind from their stays are displayed today at the park’s Loomis Museum, and descendants of these tribes still live in the area and are valuable to partners to the park, continuing to educate visitors on both their historical and modern tribal cultures.
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Lassen Volcanic National Park: Fun fact: Mount Lassen is the largest lava dome on earth and was thought to be extinct until 1914 when it exploded without warning. More fun facts: It’s also relatively easy to climb, definitely most likely will not explode while you’re doing so, and is open and ready for visitors. Though several of the campsites close after summer, the Manzanita Lake Campground remains open until it snows and the Southwest Campground is open year-round.
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Just because the Lassen Volcanic Highway leading through this northern California park is closed in winter doesn’t mean you can’t explore. As soon as the highway closes to vehicles, it opens to cross-country skiers and snowshoers. So grab your gear and head out into miles of wilderness completely unfettered by auto traffic from around mid-November to late March each year.
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Take advantage of the annual snowfall at Lassen Volcanic National Park and go sledding! Find smaller, gentler slopes close to Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center or walk a bit further along the snow-covered park highway to access steeper slopes popular with experienced sledders. Grab your own sled before you head out to the park and pack a picnic to enjoy fireside in the dining area of Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center after hours of frosty fun.
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