Lassen Volcanic received National Park status one hundred years ago after an epic volcanic eruption in 1914 was captured on photo by Frank Loomis. While this park is less well known than its peers, it’s well worth a visit, especially if you’re looking for a laid back summer getaway.
Here are the top ten things to do with kids in Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Kayak on Manzanita Lake
– Rent a boat at the camper store or bring your own. Boat
along with Canadian geese on a lake surrounded by forest.
Visit Loomis Museum
– See the six photos of the 1914 Lassen Peak Eruption at the Loomis
Museum near the north entrance of the park. Get information on the park.
Explore Thermal Features
– Bumpass Hell and Sulphur Works show evidence of the parks volcanic past. If the three mile hike to Bumpass Hell
isn’t your style, explore the bubbling mud pots at Sulphur Works to get an idea of the activity happening below your feet.
Swim in an Alpine Lake – Helen Lake near the highest point on the Lassen Peak Road is a cold beautiful blue. If swimming in snow melt isn’t your style try Summit Lake or Manzanita Lake instead.
Camp at North Summit Campground – Any campsite at North or South Summit Campgrounds is a short walk to Summit Lake, a beautiful swimming spot surrounded by mountains and pine trees.
Drive the Lassen Peak Road – This scenic byway was built in the 1930s and offers a nice 45 minute drive between the northern and south western entrances of the park. Along the way you’ll see alpine lakes, Lassen Peak and many great informative pullouts. Enjoy an audio tour of the road by downloading it on the nps website before you go.
Hike Devastation Trail – See the impact of the 1914 -1915 eruption of Lassen Peak on this handicap accessible trail.
Hike Lily Ponds Trail – This short trail begins at the Loomis Museum. The path was great for kids, fairly level, short and fun.
Get in the Backcountry
– Most of Lassen Volcanic National Park
is managed as wilderness. The area was beautiful and would make a great backpacking destination.
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Become a Junior Ranger – At Lassen my tots learned how to identify different pine trees and types of rocks, they observed wildlife and learned about the history of the park. I think they learned more than they do at school.
We loved Lassen Volcanic’s laid back feel. This park felt like the wilderness getaway we have been looking for throughout the trip. We enjoyed relaxing by the lake near North Summit Campground, hiking the trails and seeing the bubbling mudpots at sulphur works.