Lassen National Park is known for its crystal-clear lakes, tall mountain peaks, and geothermal wonders. If you’re searching for a one-of-a-kind road trip with both excitement and relaxation, Lassen National Park is waiting for you!
In this post, we’ll discuss the many benefits of visiting Lassen National Park, especially in a campervan! We’ll talk about where to stop on the drive over, which activities to enjoy, and where you can find the best campgrounds.
About Lassen National Park
Lassen National Park is a magical place located in northeastern California. With 200 lakes in the park, it’s an ideal place for water lovers. Also, the jagged peaks and rugged terrain is enjoyed by adventure-seekers from around the globe. If you’re ready for a late fall/early winter getaway to Lassen, there are several breathtaking activities to experience!
Where to Stop Along the Way
As you hit the road for an awesome road trip, be sure to make a few stops along the way.
Check out our favorite destinations below:
Lassen is surrounded by incredible places. If you’re driving north into the park, consider stops in Kings Canyon National Park and Yosemite National Park. Even if you only have time for a scenic drive through these areas, it’s well worth it! Another must-see destination is Lake Tahoe, featuring some of the clearest water in the country. Tahoe is also a ski and snowboard mecca!
Coming from the east? If so, adventure will accompany your drive! While northern Nevada is pretty barren, the town of Elko is a hidden gem. Be sure to stop here for stunning hiking trails and mountain views! If you’re starting further east, you have to check out the mountains near Salt Lake City. These giant peaks offer many adventure opportunities, including hiking, skiing, paddling, fishing, and more!
On a southern drive into Lassen, there are several spots to check out. First, you can’t pass up Bend, Oregon. Not only does this town offer top-notch mountain views, but it’s also considered an outdoor lover’s paradise. Hiking, biking, paddling, and rock climbing are all popular in the area. If your drive begins further north, we recommend stops in Mt. Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, or North Cascades National Park. These areas feature some of the best outdoor recreation on the planet!
If you’re driving east from the coast, there are a few cool spots to visit. The coastal towns of Eureka and Arcata are a must-see, offering fantastic coastal views, beautiful architecture, and a laid-back atmosphere. You should also stop by Shasta Lake on the drive over. This lake offers impeccable mountain views and great hiking trails to stretch those legs.
Outdoor Adventures in Lassen National Park
Once you arrive in Lassen National Park, it’s time to start exploring! Whether you’re looking to relax or get the blood flowing, check out our favorite activities below:
Hiking is one of the most popular activities in the park—and for good reason! Not many places offer the diversity of Lassen, so get out there and explore! The area features waterfalls, geysers, lakes, and astonishing scenery everywhere you look. While this time of year provides much cooler temperatures, hiking is still a loved activity.
Here are some of our favorite trails in Lassen National Park:
- Manzanita Lake Trail
- Terminal Geyser Trail
- Devil’s Kitchen Trail
- Bumpass Hell
- Cinder Cone Trail
Keep in mind you may encounter snow and ice on these hikes, so make sure you’re equipped with the right gear. Also, check the weather beforehand to ensure you won’t be hiking in a blizzard!
Looking to get out on the water? While some lakes in Lassen start to freeze over this time of year, you should be able to get some boating and paddling in. Keep in mind you can only launch non-motorized boats in the area. The park’s most popular boating lakes include Manzanita, Butte, Juniper, and Summit. These are also great for paddleboarding, kayaking, or just soaking in the views!
Fishing is another top activity in Lassen National Park. If you’re looking for easy fishing access right off the road, check out Manzanita Lake and Butte Lake. The most popular fish you’ll find in these waters include brown, rainbow, and brook trout. Keep in mind that some of the area’s lakes may be frozen this time of year.
Once you arrive in Lassen National Park, you may want to stop at your campground. However, the only campground currently open is at Manzanita Lake, and it closes for the season in December. That said, you may have to camp outside of the park. We recommend camping near the town of Redding, which is a short drive from Lassen.
Check out these great campground options below:
- Boulder Creek RV Resort
- Lower Jones Valley Campground
- JGW RV Park
- Allie Cove Campground
These campgrounds offer RV hookups, restrooms, amazing views, and more!
Exploring Hydrothermal Areas
While Lassen National Park offers several incredible attractions, the region is best known for its geothermal areas. These areas feature fumaroles, boiling pools, steam, and hot mud pots. As you may find snow this time of year in Lassen, exploring these wonders could be the perfect idea!
Check out the following geothermal areas in the park:
- Little Hot Springs Valley
- Bumpass Hell
- Pilot Pinnacle
- Devil’s Kitchen
- Sulphur Works
While these geothermal wonders are a must-see, they can also be dangerous. Be sure to only stay on trails and boardwalks, and never enter or touch the hydrothermal water.
To make the most of your adventure to Lassen National Park, keep the following tips in mind:
- Download or print a park map and brochure: This helps you learn all there is to know about Lassen!
- Don’t expect great cell reception: Lassen National Park is remote, so cell service is spotty.
- Bring winter clothes and gear: If you’re traveling this time of year, bring jackets, extra layers, beanies, gloves, hand warmers, and other winter essentials.
- Touch up on park safety guidelines: As the area has geothermal areas and more dangerous terrain, it’s a good idea to read up on the park’s safety guidelines.
Check out our hiking and camping recommendations below:
- Manzanita Lake Trail: Begins at Manzanita Lake Day Use Area
- Terminal Geyser Trail: Starts at Warner Valley Trailhead
- Cinder Cone Trail: Begins at Butte Lake parking area
- Boulder Creek RV Resort: 280 Boulder Dr, Redding, CA 96003
- Lower Jones Valley Campground: Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity Nra, Redding, CA 96003
- Bailey Cove Campground: Bailey Cove Rd, Lakehead, CA 96051
Here are some off-the-beaten-path ideas in the area:
- Go snowshoeing: This season is far less busy than other months, so it’s a great time to snowshoe!
- Rent a snowmobile: Morgan Summit and Swain Mountain are some of the best areas for this activity.
- Explore caves: Check out Wilson Lake Ice Caves or Subway Caves.
Find a New Adventure Ride Today!
If you want to travel to Lassen National Park in a comfortable, reliable campervan, look no further than Rec Van! We’re happy to be a leading provider of new and used campervans and adventure mobiles.
Browse through our inventory today to find your perfect van, or give us a call for more information!