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Best Hikes: Lassen Volcanic National Park

• 9 day hikes
• 1 to 11 mile trails
• Easy & Medium difficulties
• Northern California | Lassen Volcanic National Park
• Driving Directions: Lassen South Entrance

Lassen Volcanic National Park is a jewel in Northern California’s crown yet for many it lays undiscovered. Situated on the southern tip of the Cascade mountain range the park is teeming with signs of present and historical volcanic activity, playing host to all five different types of volcano and other geological oddities. While Lassen Peak is the obvious poster child, there are many places to explore – check out the many links to our trail reviews below.

The park is worthy of a multi-day visit, which easily justifies the three-and-a-half hours journey from San Francisco. Compared with an equally distant Lake Tahoe, you’d find Lassen Volcanic National Park a remarkably quiet landscape.

Below is a list of our trail reviews within and close to the park. Be sure to bear in mind the heightened elevation in the park, bring water, and adjust your hiking expectations accordingly.

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5-star hike, 4-star hike, 3-star hike

During summer months visitors can freely pass through the park from North to South. The road however is impassible usually between November and May, depending on conditions, so we've broken our hiking recommendations into North and South categories for those who have the option to visit only one side of the park.

Lassen North:
McArthur Burney Falls | 5★, 1.0mi, Easy, 120ft | Visit one of the most spectacular waterfalls in California on this short hike. Though this gem is 40 miles North of the park boundary, it's well worth including on a multi-day visit. See trail review.
Cinder Cone | 4★, 3.0-4.9mi, Medium, 1120ft | Hike up the side of a 700ft volcanic cinder cone and enjoy the spectacular views of the Fantastic Lava Beds. See trail review.
Cluster Lakes | 4★, 10.5mi, Medium, 1,100ft | Whether you measure by quality or quantity, this hike's a winner either way. Explore at least a dozen pristine lakes and pools on this loop trail. See trail review.
Subway Caves | 4★, 0.5mi, Easy, 50ft | Walk through a section of cavernous lava tube, located 15 miles North of the park entrance. Concrete steps at both ends and a flat cave floor means this is suitable for most. See trail review.
Manzanita Lake | 4★, 1.9mi, Easy, 50ft | A two mile loop trail around sparkling Manzanita Lake, with picture postcard perfect views of Mount Lassen. Also, enjoy an ice cream at the nearby camp store! See trail review.
Chaos Crags | 3★, 3.6mi, Easy, 915ft | Explore the massive Chaos Jumbles rockslide and cross evergreen forest to reach a small mountain lake. See trail review.
Lassen South:
Brokeoff Mountain | 5★, 6.9mi, Medium, 2550ft (9235ft peak) | The second tallest peak in the park features an excellent trail to the best views, including those of the iconic Lassen Peak. See trail review.
Bumpass Hell | 4★, 2.3mi, Easy, 410ft | Follow the mountainside trail to these hotsprings and marvel at boiling pools, fuming vents and bubbling mud pots from the safety of a boardwalk. See trail review.
Lassen Peak | 4★, 4.0mi, Medium, 1990ft (10462ft peak) | Probably the easiest way to hike the summit of an active volcano, the views from the top are stunning, and on a clear day stretch as far as the massive Mt Shasta seventy miles distant. See trail review.
• External Links: National Park Service
• Trailspotting: All Lassen Hikes | Best Hikes in California
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More California Hikes:
• Best Hikes of Lake Tahoe
• Best Hikes of Yosemite National Park • Best Hikes of San Francisco Bay Area
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