Four hours north east of San Francisco and an hour from the nearest interstate highway, the phrase "off the beaten track" could've been coined for Lassen Volcanic National Park. Overlooked by locals and visitors alike the place is something of a treasured secret to those in the know, and should you choose to visit you’ll find tranquil surroundings even on the busiest holiday weekends.

The tranquility of the park belies its true violent nature, however. Situated at the southern-most point on the Cascade Range evidence of volcanic activity is everywhere in this park, including examples of all four types of volcano (plug dome, shield, cinder cone and stratovolcano).

The most prominent landmark in the park at 10,457 feet above sea level is Lassen Peak, also recently the most explosive landmark, when in 1915 witnesses observed explosive eruptions from the summit which cast volcanic ash up to 200 miles away.

Hikers are spoiled for choice in Lassen Volcanic National Park, with 150 miles of great trails throughout the region. Trailspotting's growing selection of hiking trails cover a wide variety of different experiences, from climbing a cinder cone and scaling Lassen Peak to pleasant lake walks, and descents into pitch-black lava tubes.

The fee to enter Lassen Volcanic National Park is valid for several days, and many uncrowded campgrounds are situated throughout the park. If you prefer a solid roof over your head, then you may like to check out Brokeoff Cabins near the north entrance or the Mineral Lodge close to the south entrance.

Snow covers the Lassen landscape for much of the year and some roads and trails may not be open - even in summer. Check the links in our tangents section to find updated information on road closures, trail closures and campground status.