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Overview

Revolving around the southernmost volcano in the Cascade Range that stretches from British Columbia into Northern California, Lassen Volcanic National Park is not as well known or heavily visited as Yosemite or Yellowstone, but shares characteristics of each. Like Yosemite, the park is centered on a remarkable geological feature, in this case, the 10,457-foot Lassen Peak, which rises abruptly from the surrounding lowlands to a rocky, often snow-capped summit. Like Yellowstone, the park's surface is alive with geothermal activity, including bubbling hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles seen in the intriguingly named Bumpass Hell. The mountain ...

Revolving around the southernmost volcano in the Cascade Range that stretches from British Columbia into Northern California, Lassen Volcanic National Park is not as well known or heavily visited as Yosemite or Yellowstone, but shares characteristics of each. Like Yosemite, the park is centered on a remarkable geological feature, in this case, the 10,457-foot Lassen Peak, which rises abruptly from the surrounding lowlands to a rocky, often snow-capped summit. Like Yellowstone, the park's surface is alive with geothermal activity, including bubbling hot springs, mud pots, and fumaroles seen in the intriguingly named Bumpass Hell. The mountain itself is not extinct, but merely dormant: it last blew its top in 1921, after a period of seven years of activity. In 1915, the biggest eruption resulted in a massive mushroom cloud visible for hundreds of miles, immortalized in black-and-white photographs available as postcards today. The summer is brief: From October to midsummer, the main park road is closed as an average of 500 inches of snow falls on the area. This is the time to visit if you want to experience winter solitude — pack your cross-country skis or snowshoes — or just go sledding.

Eric Peterson
About the Expert

Eric Peterson has written and contributed to numerous Frommer’s guidebooks covering the American West, including Montana & Wyoming, Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, and Texas.

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Eric Peterson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Prime winter season runs from November through May.