Day 1: Lassen Volcanic National Park
Start your weekend by exploring Lassen Volcanic National Park. The park boasts incredible mountain scenery reminiscent of Yosemite as well as fascinating thermal wonders similar to Yellowstone with just a small fraction of the visitors, making it one of our favorite California National Parks.
Lassen offers three of the four different types of geothermal features, including steam vents, mud pots, and hot springs; and is the only place in the world where you can find all four types of volcanoes (shield, plug dome, cinder cone, and composite.)
While you're there check out the Bumpass Hell Trail, Lassen’s largest hydrothermal area. The regions volcanic activity has created an area that feels almost otherworldly, with plopping mudpots, bubbling pools, and roaring steam vents. Or, if you're feeling really ambitious, scale Lassen Peak, the largest of the parks volcanoes, where you can find stunning aerial views of the entire park.
Day 2: Lava Beds National Monument
Start your second day by heading to Lava Beds National Monument. Enjoy the trip on the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway and take in some of the gorgeous landscapes of the area. Once you've arrived, plan the day to explore the varied landscape of this national monument. Over the last half-million years, volcanic eruptions have created a rugged landscape dotted with diverse volcanic features. More than 800 caves, Native American rock art sites, historic battlefields, and a high desert wilderness experience await you.
The caves at Lava Beds are the star of the show, and there are certainly plenty to choose from! There are opportunities for everyone, from the first-time cave visitor to the experienced spelunker. Or, you can always join a ranger for a guided tour of Fern Cave or the Crystal Ice Cave, some of the most spectacular caves on property. (Available seasonally.)