Hiking to Lassen Peak (10,462ft.)

Lassen Peak Trail

Distance: 5 miles roundtrip. Duration: 3-5 hours. Elevation gain: 2000 feet. Breathtaking vistas.

One of my personal favorites and a hidden gem of California that keeps circling my mind is the Lassen Peak Trail. Don't let the trail map (2.5 miles one way) deceive you and make you think this is a short trail. The elevation gain is is 2000 feet from the parking lot to the end of the peak. The air is very thin so, it's best to take your time. The trail hike and switch backs are made worth it by the views and on a clear day, you can see Mt. Shasta on the north side of the peak. I've learned that hiking in the heat of the day was not the best idea since shade-cover is very limited, but definitely worth brining a hat and sunglasses. You'll also be greeted by the smell of rotten eggs since Lassen Peak is an active volcano, but remains dormant.

Fun history, it erupted between 1914 and 1917. So if you want to feel the adrenaline rush of hiking on an active volcano, this trail is the place to go. Also highly recommend going there at night to catch the stars. Lassen Peak is surrounded by campgrounds nearby so it's best to check with the rangers at the gate to see which campgrounds have availability.

Pack List

  • Hiking Boots
  • Hat
  • Water
  • Sunblock
  • Sunglasses
  • Snacks
  • Camera
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RT Distance 5 Miles
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Family Friendly
Groups
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Easy volcano summit tag, spectacular views!

The Lassen Peak Summit Trail is a popular destination year-round for all ages and abilities. The wide, smooth path makes it ideal for large groups or runners, and no matter the season, weather, or wildfire conditions, you're sure to enjoy spectacular views from the top. As others have commented, arrive early to avoid crowds!

Beautiful Sunrise

Caught the sunrise at the top. Absolutely beautiful. One of my favorite parks with great reflective water. Snow on top year round. Get there early as the trail gets crowded even by 8:40am.

Well worth the ascent...

On a recent drive back from California I decided to hit up Lassen Volcanic since I had never been there before. Short on time and craving some cardio I settled on hiking to the summit of the peak. The trail is well-graded and easy with sweeping views of Mt. Shasta and Northern California. I expect on a clear day you could see well into Nevada and Oregon as well. It took my party about 2:15 round-trip with a 40 minute lunch on the summit. As of July 26th, 2016 a scenic swarm of California Tortoiseshell Butterflies can be found on the summit and the flanks of the peak. Get after it!


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