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Road Trip Through Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of UpState California's most fascinating attractions. You'll find everything from volcanoes, stunning waterfalls, bubbling mud pots, to crystal clear lakes within the park. Not sure where to start? We've put together the perfect road trip for a scenic drive of Lassen, with stops at some of the best sites the park has to offer along the way.

Kohm Yah-Mah-Nee Visitor Center

Before you start your drive, stop in at the Kohm Yah-Mah-Nee Visitor Center at the southern entrance of the park. Here you can get maps, snacks, see educational exhibits on the parks many features, and ask the rangers any questions you may have before seeing the rest of the park.

Bumpass Hell

First stop on your drive is Bumpass Hell - the largest of the park's hydrothermal areas. You'll find the trail head about six miles down the main park road after you leave the Visitor Center. From there, it's a 3-mile round trip hike to Bumpass Hell itself. On the trail you'll see stunning views of Lassen Peak, Lake Helen, Brokeoff Volcano, and of course, the otherworldly landscape and bubbling mud pots for which the trail is named!

Not up for a hike? Check out Sulphur Works instead. These bubbling mud pots are right along the main park road, a mile away from the visitor center. 

Lassen Peak

A mile down the main road from Bumpass Hell you'll find the Lassen Peak trail head - for the more adventurous party this hike to the summit of the parks signature volcano offers stunning aerial views of the park. The hike can take anywhere from 3-5 hours round trip, so be sure to clear a large chunk of your schedule if you decide to make the climb.

Kings Creek Falls

If you choose to pass by Lassen Peak, head down the main park road for five more miles to the Kings Creek trailhead. From here you can take the 2.3 miles round-trip hike to Kings Creek Falls, one of the parks most stunning waterfalls.

Background Photo Credit: Julie Boyd

Summit Lake

Three miles down the main road from Kings Creek falls you'll find Summit Lake. This picturesque spot offers stunning views along with picnic areas, trails, and water recreation opportunities such as kayaking, standup paddleboarding, fishing, and swimming during the summer months. On-site rentals are not available.

Devastated Area

Once you've left Summit Lake, head three more miles down the main road to reach the Devastated Area Interpretive Trail. You'll find informational plaques all along the trail describing the creation of the devastated area and history of volcanic eruptions in Lassen. This trail is a paved loop, and is a great place to take families. It's also wheelchair accessible! 

Manzanita Lake

The last stop on your itinerary is Manzanita Lake. Head 10 miles down the main park road towards the north entrance of the park to find the lake. A local favorite, Manzanita Lake offers beautiful scenery, water recreation (including on-site kayak rentals), wildlife viewing opportunities, and trails.

After you've finished up at Manzanita Lake, you'll find it an easy drive on CA-44 from the north entrance of the park to Redding, where you can find a multitude of dining and lodging options - the perfect way to relax after a fun-filled day exploring Lassen Volcanic National Park.