The area centered on Mount Lassen, an active volcano that last erupted in 1917 and the southernmost peak in the Cascades, is lightly visited, making it an excellent place for a relaxing get-away-from-it-all weekend.
You can plan your Lassen day trip or weekend getaway using the resources below.
Why Should You Go? Will You Like Mount Lassen?
- Get a Preview: Take a look at our Lassen Area Pictures
- Lassen is popular with nature lovers, hikers, fishermen and the scientifically curious. If you're looking for fine dining, nightlife, and shopping, this is not the place for you.
Best Time to Go to Lassen
Lassen weather is best in summer, a short season that may not begin until well into June. Winter brings snow. If you go off-season and midweek, you'll find many places closed.
If you've only got a day, take a trip through Lassen National Volcanic Park to see what the landscape looks like almost 100 years after a volcanic eruption. While you're there, explore the area's volcanic and geothermal features.
4 More Great Things to Do around Lassen
Shasta Country: Drive north on US Hwy 89 to Mount Shasta, then turn back south toward where you started. Burney Falls south of McCloud is one of the most popular stops along the route.
Wine Tasting: A few fledgling wineries cluster around Manton. Most have no tasting rooms, but that doesn't mean you can't sample their products. Drop in at the Manton Corner bar and join the local characters on the porch. They serve wines from several nearby places, and if you like it, the adjacent general store sells it by the bottle.
Anselmo Vineyards was the first full-featured wine tasting room in the region. They also offer a Sporting Clay Course.
Coleman National Fish Hatchery: The largest Chinook salmon and Steelhead hatchery in the contiguous U.S. is open for self-guided tours daily. It's south of Lassen and a few miles east of I-5, a good stop on the way home if you're headed south.
Hat Creek Radio Observatory: The Hat Creek Radio Observatory is also called the Allen Telescope Array. The observatory has been in this location for over 50 years, run by the UC Berkeley Radio Astronomy Lab and SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). When completed, the array will have 350 individual units. It's a working facility that offers a self-guided tour off-season and guided tours during busy times but is only open weekdays.
Tips for Visiting Lassen
- Be prepared for snow anytime between October and June.
- This area seldom gets overcrowded, and the National Park Service says they almost always have camping spaces available.
- Even if you plan to do only a bit of light hiking, bring your poles if you have them. The rocky, volcanic terrain can be hard to navigate in many places. Bring bright flashlights if you want to tour Subway Cave.
Unless you cook it yourself, you're not likely to find haute cuisine on your plate in this area. In fact, the only restaurant in Manton is Julia's Diner. It gets the nod from locals and is sure to fill up your belly until your next stop.
Where to Stay
Your first decision should be whether to stay south of Mt. Lassen or north of it, then pick a town or two.
Redding is the closest place to stay that has a variety of hotels. You can compare prices and read guest reviews of Redding Hotels at Tripadvisor.
If you're traveling in an RV or camper - or even a tent - check these Shasta area campgrounds.
Getting To Location
The distance to Lassen depends on which side of the park you stay on. From Redding, which is about 50 miles west of the park, it's 215 miles to San Francisco, 160 miles to Sacramento and about 200 miles to Reno.