Ways to Make
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Due to the worldwide pandemic, please check for destination travel restrictions prior to visiting/booking
Put this park on your list if you are anywhere near the area. This is a lesser known and less crowded park but definitely a gem.
Echo Lake Hike
4.4 mi RT
This is a relatively easy hike from the Summit Lake campground through the forest with a few great views of Lassen Peak before intersecting with the Cluster Loop Trail. From there it is less than a mile down to Echo Lake. There really was a great echo!
Lassen Peak Hike
4.6 mi RT
This hike would have been relatively easy for us, the uphill climb was accomplished with a series of switchbacks on this well maintained, heavily trafficked hike. We were there during a cold, driving wind sleet storm so it wasn't very busy. We pushed on for the summit, none of us being able to feel our hands, but it was worth it. After the Lassen Peak hike we slid down the snow hill on our bottoms.
We missed out on Bumpass Hell due to snow. If it is open for you, definitely consider it, it was on our Must Do list. Talking with the rangers it was a must NOT do due to the risk of slipping on/through snow into boiling acid pools while we were visiting.
Get Ice Cream at the Hat Creek Resort in Old Station
If you do make it up the strenuous Cinder Cone hike, reward yourself with a stop here for ice cream. There were several Pacific Crest Trail Hikers there as well.
Cinder Cone Hike
4 mi RT
This is an easy flat hike until the last 0.8 miles feet which is nearly straight uphill along a loose rock trail to reach the top. You can walk along the rim and even down into the cone. Lassen Peak is visible in the distance as are the Painted Dunes and Fantastic Lava Beds.
Paddle board and kayak on Helen Lake
You can rent paddleboards and kayaks at the Manzanita Lake Camper Store.
Camp at Manzanita Lake Campground
We chose site C24 specifically because it was a big site next to giant logs for the kids to play on and plenty of room between neighbors. There weren't any showers but they had a regular three stall bathroom and then a private bathroom which made it possible to wash down using the sink.
Junior Ranger Program
Participate in the Junior Ranger Program. We found some of the best rangers in the system at this park.
We were glad to be staying in the park for proximity to hikes and activities, but there were a few places nearby that would work as well - check out in and around Old Station if you are not wanting to camp.
The campground offered wood for $10/bundle but you can get it much cheaper in Old Station just a short drive away.