NOS Mission

Nevada Outdoor School inspires exploration of the natural world, responsible stewardship of our habitat and dedication to community.
This is the spot for us to share stories, fun ideas or general musings. When you aren't in here, we hope to see you out there!

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Destination Recreation: Lassen Volcanic National Park

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From volcanoes, boiling mud pots, to lakes you can swim in, Lassen Volcanic National Park in Northern California is anything but ordinary.

Located about an hour East of Redding, CA, Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to all four types of volcanoes in the world: plug dome, cinder, shield, and composite. Given the National Park a very suitable name for itself. The area is continually active with boiling mud pots, fumaroles, and hotsprings.

When visiting Lassen Volcanic National Park (LVNP) I highly encourage you to stop at either visitor center when you first arrive at the park. The Loomis Museum, located near the Northwest entrance of the park, is open from 9:00am-5:00pm June- November and closed in the winter. The Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, located at the Southwest entrance of the park, is open year-round 9:00am-5:00pm, daily, or November-April only Wednesday-Sunday. At either of these locations you can get information about the park, speak with a ranger, learn about the history of the park through a 20 minute film, or attend a ranger-led program.

From each visitor center, you can either take a short walk around Manzanita Lake (located outside the Loomis Museum) or take a drive up from the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center to Sulphur Works to see (and smell) the sulphur! This is a great way to start off your adventure at LVNP!

There is so much to do (and so little time) at LVNP! I have gone twice now and still haven’t made it to all the trails I would like to (*cough cough Bumpass Hell*) However, that is why we encourage you to plan ahead and prepare your trip as much as possible. Research the trails you are interested in, plan to head out early, or if there are too many people there, plan to pick a different trail. You really can’t go wrong with any of the trails here. Mill Creek Falls trail is a 3.6 mile round-trip moderate hike that has you travel through a field of wildflowers, into a Red Fir forest, and ends you at a beautiful waterfall. Cinder Cone is a strenuous 4 mile hike but hey, you climb a volcano! And with the views of the Fantastic Lava Beds and Painted Dunes at the top, you can’t beat that! Even a short .75 mile walk around Reflection Lake will get you amazing sights to see, and you may even see an animal or two!

There are eight campgrounds throughout the park, and three of them offer group campsites. While there are several places to camp throughout the park, make sure to reserve your spot as soon as you can. Campsite spots (even for tents) fill up fairly quickly for the park, especially during the summer months. Don’t worry, they also have first-come, first-served camping if you have an itch to just go last minute as well!

As always, make sure you follow the Leave No Trace Principles, packing out your trash from the trails, keeping your food in the bear lockers (yes, there are black bears here), and be considerate to other visitors. And one day, I will hike Bumpass Hell Trail!


Enjoy the Journey!



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