fun to do kids lassen volcanic national park california   Travel for Kids
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Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Peak

In northeastern California, Lassen Peak, a majestic volcano laced with white snow, is visible for miles around.  The mountain, 10,457 ft. high, is the centerpiece of Lassen Volcanic National Park, where kids will also see other volcanic goodies, such as mud pots, fumaroles, boiling springs, and red cinder cones.

The main road goes north-south through the park.  In addition, there are two other areas, Butte Lake and Warner Valley, accessed by separate roads. The best way to approach the park is from Highway 44, using the northwest entrance at Manzanita Lake.

    Park Road
    Cinder Cone & Butte Lake
    Warner Valley
   

Camping – The best way to visit Lassen Volcanic Park is to camp inside the park, with convenient access to all the sights and hikes, junior ranger activities for kids.  Our favorite campgrounds are Summit Lake North and Manzanita Lake campgrounds.

     

Tip:  Hotel accommodations close to the park are limited.  Drakesbad Guest Ranch in Warner Valley is inside the park, but it's a 45 min. drive to get to the main park road.  Outside the park on the south side, Mineral and Mill Creek have two lodges, but they book up in advance; Chester is a bigger town, with a variety of options.  On the north side, there are some resorts in Old Station, and hotels in Burney.

  Tips for enjoying Lassen

Drinking water – Even on a short hike, bring water bottles with you. In the dry, warm air in Lassen, it's easy to get dehydrated, so drink plenty of water. The streams  look pristine, but don't drink from the streams.

Footwear – Make sure everyone has comfortable shoes; closed toes are best. Flip flops and plastic sandals are okay on paved paths, but not on dirt trails which can be dusty and rocky.

Warm clothing – If  you're camping, it may be hot during the day, but nights can be cold so have sweatshirts or fleeces for everyone in the family.

Don't feed the animals – The chipmunks and squirrels know they're cute, and will even pose for you, but don't feed them. Chips and snacks are bad for many of the animals here – feed them people food and they can end up dead.

Stay on trails and boardwalks – Lassen is a volcanic area, and underneath the fragile surface crust, it can be boiling hot.  In hydrothermal areas, stay on the trails and boardwalks at all times.

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