Getting Oriented

From gurgling mud pots and hissing steam vents, to tranquil lakes and lily-covered ponds, to jagged mountain peaks bordered by flowering meadows, Lassen Volcanic National Park's varied landscapes are certain to soothe, awe, and intrigue. Whether you want to climb to the top of a dormant volcano or simply loll at the water's edge as birdsong drifts down from tall pines, you'll find unexpected pleasures in this park formed by molten lava.

  • Southwest. Hydrothermal activity is greatest in the southwestern area; you'll see evidence on hikes to Bumpass Hell and Devils Kitchen. Walkways beside the former Sulphur Works on Lassen Park Highway, just past the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, provide easy access to smelly, belching fumaroles.
  • Middle. Marsh meadows and stunning falls highlight the Kings Creek area in the park's southern midsection. Farther north, Summit Lake—amid a red fir forest at an elevation of about 6,700 feet—has two campgrounds and a trail leading to several smaller lakes.
  • Northwest. Lassen Park Highway winds past the barren rubble of Devastated Area, providing stunning views of Lassen Peak and passing Chaos Jumbles before reaching lush, wooded Manzanita Lake.
  • Eastern. Among the delights found in the least accessible and least visited part of the park are Cinder Cone and Ash Butte, lava beds, and meadows, plus beautiful Snag and Juniper lakes and the many creeks that flow out of them.

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