Lassen Peak with view toward the north; note snow covered Mount Shasta in the background.

Lassen Peak

Background information:

Altitude: 10,457'

Tidbits:  Highest mountain in Shasta County California.

One of the largest plug-dome volcanoes in the world and the southernmost volcano in the Cascades chain.

Summitted, October 4, 2000


When to go:

The park access road is only open (due to snow conditions) from late June through early November.


Route Selection:

There is only one trail to the summit which starts from the large parking area located less than a mile from the southern entrance to the park along Rt. 89.  The trail is 5 miles roundtrip and has 2,000' of elevation gain. 


Hotel and Climb Reservation:

No guide, permit, or trail reservations are required.  There are almost no hotels in the immediate area.  Lassen is located in one of the most remote areas of California.  The Drakesbad area of the park offers a few cabins (with no electricity or running water).  There are also one or two bed and breakfast facilities in the nearby area.  Numerous hotels are located in Reading, about 90 minutes to the west.


Packing List:

Standard light hiking gear and water for a day hike.  Cold weather gear as required.


Trip Description:

Start early in the morning to avoid the masses of hikers that frequent the mountain.  Coming from the southern entrance to the park, the parking area is located on the left, less than a mile from the entrance station near Lake Helen.  The trail is well marked and not very difficult.  There are some sections of loose rock and scree.  Even in October, there is still snow and ice along the trail, and steam coming from the volcano.  The volcano last erupted in 1914 and can erupt again at any time.  There are spectacular views along the entire route.  Once you reach the summit, you can see to the north and clearly make out Mount Shasta, the next volcano in the Cascades chain, located about 60 miles to the north.  NOTE:  There is no shade anywhere along the trail to bring plenty of sunscreen and water.


The long and lonely road toward Lassen from Reading/Interstate 5.

Lake Helen near the Lassen Peak trailhead.

The trail to the summit.