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On a clear day you can get some good photos and views of Lassen Peak, the park's namesake.
Manzanita Lake Trail - Lassen Volcanic N.P.
Closest available address
21750 Highway 89 Mineral, California 96063
Park is open 24 hours but roads may close due to weather.
Best time to visit
Summer, Fall, Spring
The Manzanita Lake Trail is an easy 1.5 mile loop trail at Lassen Volcanic National Park. It circles picturesque Manzanita Lake, which was formed about 350 years ago from a local avalanche that partially dammed Manzanita Creek. The dirt trail offers good views of Lassen Peak and Chaos Crags on a clear day and it is typically open and accessible most of the year.
Lassen is one the oldest US National Parks and is fairly large at 106,000 acres. It incorporates two prior national monuments which were created to preserve interesting and still active volcanic landscape. The park is located in a mountainous area and elevations range from 5,000-10,000 feet. As a result of the terrain and climate, the main park roads are partially or fully closed much the year. The Manzanita Lake area is usually open though as it’s at a lower elevation and is located near the northern park entrance and a ranger office.
The trail provided an enjoyable walk on a clear but cold day in late October. The trail and park itself were essentially empty, so if peace and solitude are what you seek, you can find it at this national park in the off-season. The Manzanita Trail was unpaved, wide, unobstructed and generally level. It basically circles the lake, which had occasional ducks and geese. Other than the mountains and some nice views of the lake, there was little to see on the trail or reasons to recommend it. It sufficed as an opportunity to unwind but would not be a first choice for a short hike at Lassen if more dramatic scenery, volcanic landscape or more rigorous exercise are on your agenda. It worked though as a short and relaxing walk and is conveniently accessible near the northern entrance. Note, also that a park museum with information about the volcanic eruption in 1915 is located in this area. It was closed at the time but looked interesting.
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