Distance: 2 miles
Elevation gain: 300ft (from 5,800 to 6,000ft)
On a clear day the short and easy 2 mile loop hike around sparkling Manzanita Lake is the perfect introduction to Lassen Volcanic National Park, showcasing as it does some the best features of the park - including the glacier strewn Lassen Peak and the young Chaos Crags massif. In fact it was an enormous rockfall collapse of Chaos Crags which cut off a local creek and created this lake - be sure to check out our Chaos Crags article for a tour of the rockfall known as Chaos Jumbles.
This spot is favored not only by hikers and photographers but also fishing enthusiasts in search of rainbow, brown and brook trout. Thankfully the lake is limited to non-motorized boats, keeping the lakeside relatively quiet. Kayaks can be rented near the boat launch area - check the nearby campground store for details.
Situated by the northern entrance of the park, the lake is conveniently located by the historic visitor center and the large Manzanita Creek campground. Noise from the park road does infiltrate the peace of the lake somewhat, but its a price you pay for the convenience. If you prefer a quieter lake experience, check out our Cluster Lakes article.
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.
- Trailspotting Images: Manzanita Lake on Flickr
- EveryTrail: Hiking in Lassen Park