Lassen National Park
Re: Snowy vacation that is NOT TAHOE (Nov 2005)
We love going to the Mt. Lassen area for backcountry skiing. The drive is only 3ish hours from the east bay (about the same as some areas of Tahoe) but far less stressful becuase there's usually no traffic once you hit I-5. You can do cross- country skiing or snowshoeing and there are lots of hills for kids to go sledding. It's absolutely beautiful up there in winter and no crowds. There are lodges to stay nearby (or you can rent a house for a week) that are relatively cheap. If you drive a little further on I-5 (about an hour) you can head up to Shasta City and the Mt. Shasta area. There's a fairly decent little ski resort there or you can ski/showshoe around Mt. Shasta.
Re: Snowy vacation that is NOT TAHOE (Nov 2005)
I really like Lassen. its a great area and not over run by tourists - well I haven't been there in a few years but I like it a lot better than the tahoe area. when my kids get older that's where I'm going to take them. ilona
Re: Camping trip north to Oregon (May 2004)
We usually make a yearly trip to Lassen...you can't make reservations at any of the campgrounds there. There is one huge campground at the n. w. end (Manzanita Lake) with several hundred spots, a store, showers, laundry, etc. Further into the park (only one road goes through) there is Summet Lake N and S. 2 campgrounds with only spiggots for water and maybe 50 or so sites each. If I remember, not too RV populated...possibly not even allowed, but not sure of that. One of the campgrounds only has outhouses and the other has flush toilets, but no showers, stores, etc. We usually try to go on a Tues or Wed so to have missed the past and upcoming weekend crowd and we always stay at one of the Summit Lake CG's. You can swim in the lake, lots of hiking trails nearby, ranger talks every day. There is another campground at the south end of the park but I know nothing about it. A few group sites too. Have you ever been to Lassen? It is exquisitely gorgeous and one of the least visited and least populated of the USA National Parks.
We went to the northern part of Lassen National Park last presidents day weekend and it was wonderful. It was not crowded at all. We went cross country skiing in the park with our 6 and 8 year olds. the drive was not a traffic nightmare. It was beautiful and uncrowded. from what I've heard, it's pretty uncrowded in the summer, too. We stayed at a motel inthe Hat Creek area, which was on a recommended list supplied by the Park Service. It was winter, so the cabins were closed. (They seemed amused that I wanted a cabin in the winter.) My only reservation in winter was that there were rather limited amenities --maybe three restaurants, and no cabins that we could find. This would not apply in the summer. Actually, I'm writing to see if anyone knows of any winter cabin rentals near the north end of the park. Anyway, I'd recommend the area highly. It's beautiful, easy to get to, and not full of people. Christina
I would like to hear from those of you who have camped at Lassen National Park. I plan to go with my eight year old daughter, possibly by ourselves, which we've never done. Is there a campsite that you would recommend among the many choices and areas of the park that would perhaps be a little safer for a mom and young girl? I would prefer something that's not filled with RV's and too many campers. Suzanna
We just spent a week camping at Lassen National Park with our two-and-a-half-year-old twin daughters. Our campsite was near Summit Lake, which was like a lake out of a fairy tale: green mossy banks, wild flowers, surrounded by beautiful forest, and shallow enough to wade in near the bank. We did not have a boat, but others did (canoes and rubber rafts), and the park in general appeared to be a mecca for fishermen. This largely underutilized park is also full of beautiful hiking trails. It took us four and a half hours to reach there by car from El Cerrito. Pamela
We visited Lassen four years ago. The park was booked, but we camped just outside the park in a National Forest campground. It was quiet and safe and not full of RV's. No showers though. There was also a nice lodge nearby with a restaurant that we ate in a few times so we didn't have to mess with camp cooking. Lassen is a great park--lots of short trails with fabulous, interesting scenery. I'd love to go back. Hardin
As long as you are car camping, it is always hard to avoid the RVs and lots of campers, but I have a good recommendation for Lassen National Park. Butte Creek campsite has only 10 unimproved sites for tents or small RVs. No piped water is available, but they do have toilets, firegrills and picnic tables. Stay away from Butte Lake Campground which is HUGE and feels like everyone else is ontop of you. Butte Creek campground's advantages include the fact that there are so few campsites (only 10) and that they are well spread out. The creek runs through the campground which is nice, and trees add to the bucolic feel. No reservations, first come first serve, no fees. It is very close to the trailhead to the Cinder Cone which has supposedly has dramatic views of Lassen wilderness. I wouldn't know because my kids are too small for hiking.
Lassen Nat'l Forest, Eagle Lake Ranger District Tel.(530)257-4188. Directions: From Redding, drive east on Highway 44 to the junction with Highway 89 (near the entrance to Lassen Volcanic National Park). Turn north on Highway 89 and drive to Highway 44. Turn right (east) on Highway 44 and drive 11 miles to Forest Service Road 18. Turn right at Forest Service Road 18 and drive three miles to the campground on the left side of the road. Daphne
My 10 year old son and I went camping in Lassen last August and had a great time. We stayed at Summit Lake, which had a few RVs, but mostly people in tents. The campground is first come, first served; we came on a Monday afternoon and left on a Friday morning. It was full, as you would expect in the summer, but fairly quiet at night, so was acceptable to me. Great hikes: the Bumpass Hell trail, Lassen Peak (you only have to climb about 2000'), and many beautiful hikes around lakes nearby to the Summit Lake campground, including part of the Pacific Crest Trail. The ranger talks were especially good, particuarly the one on bears. Good luck. Dianna
Summit Lake! Mark
Lassen National Park is not crowded at all, so there probably won't be many RVs around. We went camping there three weeks ago on a weekend and neither site next to us was taken, and I didn't see many huge RVs. We camped at Lake Manzanita, which has flush toilets(very important to me) and a small store if you forget something. There are also official camp hosts who keep an eye on things. You can hike around the lake and get a picture perfect view of Lassen Peak. Everyone camping there seemed really friendly and our whole family felt very safe. Lassen National Park is very beautiful and accessible, yet is vastly underused. I recommend the Bumpass Hell Nature Trail- stinky, but the landscape looks completely alien. Connie