Lassen Volcanic National Park Camping
  Lassen Volcanic map with campgrounds  
Interactive Campground Map - Click the campground for its page
 



Share |

Lassen Volcanic National Park offers an outstanding camping experience amidst mountain hemlock, Jeffrey pine, Douglas fir, ponderosa pine and numerous other tree species. Knowing that Lassen Peak is still an active plug-dome volcano is a majestic (if not chilling) reminder of this planet's awesome forces. The campgrounds of Lassen Volcanic are: Manzanita Lake, Crags, Lost Creek, Summit Lake North, Summit Lake South, Southwest, Warner Valley, Juniper Lake and Butte Lake. You can see all of these campgrounds on this page via the interactive camping map or by using the text links above. Also be sure to click the images on this page for much larger versions.

Lassen Volcanic's campgrounds are a combination of first-come, first-serve and reservable. If you are arriving without reservations, simply pull up or walk to the campground entrance kiosk, fill out the information card and insert your envelope into the metal pay slot.

We've seen many campgrounds, and we rate the Lassen experience as well above average, and leaning towards perfect for remote car camping. If we had any complaints, it would be the constant work taking place during peak summer hours. Numerous fire crews chainsawed the forest for a week while we stayed at and recorded the campgrounds.



On the rest of this page you will find detailed information and photos of the drive-in campgrounds of Lassen National Park. Every photo you see on this page was taken in Lassen Volcanic. Unlike many other sites, we actually go to these places. It's more work, but the results are worth it (and so are the memories). We've actually been there. That's the Parkcamper difference.


Manzanita Lake Campground

campground sign and pine trees
Manzanita Lake Campground, Lassen Volcanic National Park

Manzanita Lake Campground contains a whopping 179 sites at the northwest entrance of Lassen Volcanic National Park. On the way to the campground you will see beautiful Manzanita Lake and stunning views of Lassen Peak. Follow the road around the lake shore and you will see the camp signs. The campground is tucked back along the southern shore between the lake and Lassen Peak in a tremendous old growth forest of Jeffrey Pine.

We can definitely recommend Manzanita. The massive old growth forest means there's plenty of open space, so privacy is not the best, but the environment the campground is set in is magical. This is an excellent campground for families looking to mix alpine splendor with water recreation. The fishing in the lake is known to be very good, and you can rent kayaks and other devices at the Camper Store. Amenities are many. There are showers, laundry facilities, a mini grocery store, bike paths, you name it. This is not my idea of roughing it, so those who like a few creature comforts will love this campground.



Parkcamper.com staff were blown away by Lassen Volcanic National Park and since this is its main campground, we were equally impressed. Take note that this is the busiest campground in the park, so don't expect total peace and quiet. If this is your goal, try to get a site at the last loop (D Loop) against the mountain slope. This loop is tent only, and things quit down considerably thanks to the thick tree trunks and the mountain slope. This is some rugged and beautiful country. I had my tent set up next to massive Jeffrey Pine, with nothing separating me from the wilderness of the park. That's the kind of site I like! If you get there early enough, you can get a site like this too.

 

Manzanita Lake campground facts:

Video Tour available: Yes. Download now!
Open: May 27 to Snow Season
Sites: 179
Laundry: Yes
Showers: Yes
Dump Station: Yes (May 21 to Oct 19)
Store: Yes
Quiet Hours: 10 am to 6 am
Fee: $18 per vehicle, $10 after October 25
Vehicle length limit: 31 foot RV or 27 foot trailer
Handicapped Accessible: Yes(toilet and sites, specifically sites B-9 and A-32.)
Toilets: Yes | Tables: Yes | Fire rings: Yes
Water: Yes
Only Three tents per site or one RV, max 6 people
Elevation: 5889 feet
Fishing: Yes (Manzanita Lake)
Generator: Yes (8 am to 8 pm reasonable usage)
Gas: Yes
Repairs: No(46 miles west to Redding)
Reservations: 1-877-444-6777

Crags Campground

Huge pine trees, road and campsites
The impressive forest of Crags Campground.

The first thing you notice about Crags campground is the gigantic trees. Enormous specimen of Jeffrey pine, Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir rocket into the sky.You'll also notice the campground is very open, with many stout downed trees crisscrossing the grounds. Creature comforts are non-existent, so if that's your thing, head back five miles west to Manzanita. Crags does offer drinking water, vault toilets, picnic tables, camp rings, bear boxes and a truly beautiful forest setting. The circular nature of the campground is a bit odd, and you can sometimes see clear across the other sites to the campground perimeter, but this is due to the nature of the spectacular old growth forest. I found it amusing that no one even mentions the size of these trees, almost as if they are an afterthought. With decades of camping experience, I found the forest of Crags campground to be remarkable. People often talk about the "northwoods" of the upper midwest or northeast, but I can tell you there's nothing to match the grandeur of this forest which isn't even mentioned in travel guides or in casual conversation. I guess California is used to their big trees.

Those looking for an immediate water-based camping experience should not put Crags campground at the top of their list. However, Manzanita Lake is only five miles to the west. Lost Creek is 2.3 miles southeast of Crags on highway 89. While scenic, it's a small creek.

We can recommend Crag's campground for those who don't mind a lack of comforts, for those who enjoy old growth forest, and for those who prefer a smaller campground. Bears are thick in this area, so use of the bear boxes is wise.

Crags campground facts:

Video Tour available: Yes. Download now!
Open: May 27 to September 12
Sites: 45
Laundry: No (five miles west to Manzanita)
Showers: No (five miles west to Manzanita)
Dump Station: No
Store: No (Manzanita)
Quiet Hours: 10 am to 6 am
Fee: $12
Vehicle length limit: 31 foot RV or 27 foot trailer
Handicapped Accessible: Yes
Toilets: Yes | Tables: Yes | Fire rings: Yes
Water: Yes
Only Three tents per site or one RV, max 6 people
Elevation: 5670 feet
Fishing: No
Generator: Yes (8 am to 8 pm reasonable usage)
Gas: No (Manzanita)
Repairs: No(51 miles west to Redding)
Reservations: No



Summit Lake North Campground


Campground sign with road and pine trees
Summit Lake North Campground.

Summit Lake lies just east of the spectacular Devastation Zone from the 1915 eruption of Lassen Peak. There are 46 sites in total, and the campground offers swimming in Summit Lake, fishing, drinking water, flush toilets, bear boxes, picnic tables and camp fire rings.

Those with altitude issues may wish to note that Summit Lake North campground sits at almost 7,000 feet. If you aren't used to this elevation, you should take it easy the first day until you are properly acclimated. At Summit Lake, you get a sense you are at the top of the world, tucked into a soothing pine and fir forest.

Summit Lake itself is only a few acres, but is very scenic with clear, sparkling water. Small, non-motorized boats may be deployed into the lake. For those interested in fishing, Summit Lake contains brook and rainbow trout.

Both Summit campgrounds contain a unique and pristine ambiance atop one of the only recent volcanic eruptions in the lower 48. The only complaint would be that the North Summit campsites feel a bit too cramped.



beautiful, sparkling lake with sharp pines along shore and clear blue sky
Summit Lake, between North and South Summit campgrounds.


Summit Lake North campground facts:

Video Tour available: Yes. Download now!
Open: July 1 to September 19
Sites: 46
Laundry: No (12 miles west to Manzanita)
Showers: No (12 miles west to Manzanita)
Dump Station: No
Store: No (Manzanita)
Quiet Hours: 10 am to 6 am
Fee: $18
Vehicle length limit: 31 foot RV or 27 foot trailer
Handicapped Accessible: Yes
Toilets: Yes | Tables: Yes | Fire rings: Yes
Water: Yes
Only Three tents per site or one RV, max 6 people
Elevation: 6,681 feet
Fishing: Summit Lake, rainbow, brook trout
Generator: Yes (8 am to 8 pm reasonable usage)
Gas: No (Manzanita)
Repairs: No(58 miles west to Redding)
Reservations: Only for Loop B. 1-877-444-6777


Summit Lake South Campground

Sunny day with pines and Summit camp sign
Summit Lake South campground.

Summit Lake South campground, as expected is very similar to Summit Lake North. However, we found the sites at Summit Lake South to offer more privacy, and to border the wild forest more frequently. Summit Lake South nudges out its sibling across the lake by two sites, for a total of 48. Campers can expect to find drinking water, flush toilets, picnic tables, fire rings and bear proof boxes.

Families interested in a campground with nearby water recreation will love Summit Lake. Swimming is allowed as are small, non-motorized watercraft. Brook trout and rainbow trout fin in the lake's clear waters, and marshy sections border the southern shore and extend almost into the campground. Summit Lake South is slightly higher in elevation than Summit North, so altitude precautions are still in place.

When we were camped at Summit Lake South, fire crews were chainsawing the forest on multiple days, from morning to dusk. This was of course incredibly disruptive for those looking for a more peaceful experience. We ended up leaving early due to the noise. Perhaps the park would be well advised to conduct such work programs outside of the peak times of July and August (we were there in August). We also witnessed other campers leave the area due to the noise. We appreciate the hard work of the fire crews, but non-peak times would have been more appropriate.

Summit Lake also offers a campground (Summit Lake Stock Corral) for horse enthusiasts. Its season opening is similar to the other "Summits", but includes 1 corral with a maximum of 8 animals. The fee is $4 for each animal each night, and $16 per night for a campsite. No drinking water, you must go to the other "Summits". There is water for your animals, however. Reservations are available starting April 3rd. Call this number: 530-335-7029. Backcountry permits are required.

 

Summit Lake South campground facts:

Video Tour available: Yes. Download now!
Open: July 1 to September 19
Sites: 48
Laundry: No (12 miles west to Manzanita)
Showers: No (12 miles west to Manzanita)
Dump Station: No
Store: No (Manzanita)
Quiet Hours: 10 am to 6 am
Fee: $18
Vehicle length limit: 31 foot RV or 27 foot trailer
Handicapped Accessible: Yes
Toilets: Yes | Tables: Yes | Fire rings: Yes
Water: Yes
Only Three tents per site or one RV, max 6 people
Elevation: 6,700 feet
Fishing: Summit Lake, rainbow, brook trout
Generator: Yes (8 am to 8 pm reasonable usage)
Gas: No (Manzanita)
Repairs: No(58 miles west to Redding)
Reservations: Only for Loop C and D. 1-877-444-6777



Southwest Campground


rough peaks with giant trees, picnic table and bluebird sky
Stunning Southwest campground with volcanic peaks in the background.


Southwest is a really strange campground. First of all, it's walk-in and tent only. You park your car in the large, unshaded lot and haul your gear to the 21 sites on the other side of the bathrooms. At Southwest campground you will find absolutely stunning and picturesque sites steeply set amongst massive old growth forest. There are bear boxes, picnic tables, fire rings and flush toilets. Steller's Jays and numerous rodent species search the sites for scraps of food.

RV's are allowed to park in the huge lot, but are subject to the nightly fee which is $14. Besides the beautiful setting, Southwest campground is also located perfectly for those interested in the geothermal features of the park such as Sulfur Works. Its also near the breathtaking alpine drive which wraps around the southern half of Lassen Peak, twisting past picturesque lakes such as Emerald Lake and Lake Helen.

Southwest campground has conflicting features. Since it's right by the southern entrance station, you can't expect quiet during the day. But it doesn't seem many people use the campground, so you may have the place all to yourself, and even experience quiet during non-peak traffic times at the entrance station. Your best bet is to walk down the steep trail to the sites furthest from the road. The numerous paths also seem to be used as short hikes for non-campers utilizing the restrooms. Not exactly an appealing feature despite the beauty. Parkcamper.com can't quit put their finger on Southwest campground, perhaps requiring another visit. We'd love to go back to Lassen National Park. It's absolutely stunning.

 

Southwest campground facts:

Video Tour available: Yes. Download now!
Open: All year (no water after Oct 10, primitive from Oct 11 to May 14)
Sites: 21
Laundry: No
Showers: No
Dump Station: No
Store: No (Manzanita)
Quiet Hours: 10 am to 6 am
Fee: $14
Vehicle length limit: Tent only sites, parking lot allows RV's with fee.
Handicapped Accessible: Yes
Toilets: Yes | Tables: Yes | Fire rings: Yes
Water: Yes
Only Three tents per site or one RV, max 6 people
Elevation: 6,634 feet
Fishing: Small backcountry lakes nearby
Generator: Yes (8 am to 8 pm reasonable usage)
Gas: No (Manzanita)
Repairs: No(46 miles west to Red Bluff)
Reservations: No


Juniper Lake Campground

Juniper Lake is a very remote campground on a really bad road. At Chester, follow signs to Juniper Lake, then follow Feather River Drive. The setting is spectacular. Those looking for a remote water-based camping experience in Lassen Volcanic should make this your top priority - if you can handle the road. Includes picnic tables, bear boxes, fire rings, vault toilets. Huge Juniper Lake is open to swimming, fishing and boating. The lake is known for its fat trout and peaceful vistas. There is no water of any kind except for the lake. Bring a filter or bring your own water. Juniper Lake itself is a whopping 573 acres with a maximum depth of 235 feet - the deepest in Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Juniper Lake also has two group sites available via reservation only (1-877-444-6777). Fee for group camping is $30 per group. You must have a minimum of 10 campers, with a maximum of 15. Kind of a narrow slot there, but I'm guessing it has to do with resource impairment. The group site is tent-only.

Juniper Lake also offers a campground for those with horses (Juniper Lake Stock Corral). Open July 1 to September 12. The maximum number of people per site is ten. Fees are $4 for each animal, each night. Expect to pay $10 for the campsite per night. Maximum 8 animals and 4 licensed vehicles. Park Service is strict about no grazing. You must also remove manure from site yourself. Reservations start April 3rd. Call 530-335-7029.

 

Juniper Lake campground facts:

Video Tour Available: No
Open: July 1 to October 17
Sites: 18
Laundry: No
Showers: No
Dump Station: No
Store: No (12 miles to Chester)
Quiet Hours: 10 am to 6 am
Fee: $10
Vehicle length limit: Tent only sites, parking lot allows RV's with fee.
Handicapped Accessible: No
Toilets: Yes | Tables: Yes | Fire rings: Yes
Water: No
Only Three tents per site or one RV, max 6 people
Elevation: 6,742 feet
Fishing: Small backcountry lakes nearby
Generator: Yes (8 am to 8 pm reasonable usage)
Gas: No (12 miles to Chester)
Repairs: No(12 miles west to Chester)
Reservations: No



Warner Valley Campground

Another remote campground in the Lassen Volcanic National Park wilderness. The rugged road is not recommended for trailers or RV's. Warner Valley campground includes pit toilets, water, picnic tables, fire rings and bear boxes. Warner Creek offers good fishing for trout. Those looking for a more quiet camping experience will enjoy this site, although we opt for Juniper Lake.

 

Warner Valley campground facts:


Video Tour available: No
Open: June 3rd to October 24th (no water after Sept 19)
Sites: 18
Laundry: No
Showers: No
Dump Station: No
Store: No (17 miles to Chester)
Quiet Hours: 10 am to 6 am
Fee: $14, $10 during primitive camping
Vehicle length limit: Tent only sites, parking lot allows RV's with fee.
Handicapped Accessible: Yes
Toilets: Yes | Tables: Yes | Fire rings: Yes
Water: Yes
Only Three tents per site or one RV, max 6 people
Elevation: 5,655 feet
Fishing: Warner Creek
Generator: Yes (8 am to 8 pm reasonable usage)
Gas: No (17 miles south to Chester)
Repairs: No(17 miles south to Chester)
Reservations: No


Lost Creek Group Campground


Lost Creek is only a half mile from Crags, and offers similar scenery. This is a group-specific campground with a nightly fee of $50. Lost Creek campground offers water, vault toilets, picnic tables, fire rings and bear proof boxes. The most cars you can have at a site is six, with a limit of one bus or RV. Group size must fall between 10 and 25 people. Reservations at 1-877-444-6777. Lost Creek is a good location for those interested in the Devastation Zone of Lassen Volcanic.


Lost Creek Group campground facts:


Video Tour available: No
Open: June 10 to September 26
Sites: 8
Laundry: No (Manzanita)
Showers: No (Manzanita)
Dump Station: No (Manzanita)
Store: No (4.5 miles northwest to Manzanita)
Quiet Hours: 10 am to 6 am
Fee: $50
Vehicle length limit: standard RV's
Handicapped Accessible: Yes
Toilets: Yes | Tables: Yes | Fire rings: Yes
Water: Yes
Only Three tents per site or one RV, max 6 people
Elevation: 5,675 feet
Fishing: Lost Creek
Generator: Yes (8 am to 8 pm reasonable usage)
Gas: No (4.5 miles to Manzanita)
Repairs: No(4.5 miles to Manzanita)
Reservations: Yes 1-877-444-6777.


Butte Lake Campground


Butte Lake is a large, 101 site campground which lies next to the Fantastic Lava Beds of Lassen Volcanic National Park. It's remote, rugged and beautiful. Take Forest Route 32N21 fro 6.19 miles south from highway 44. The campground offers water, vault toilets, flush toilets, picnic tables, bear boxes, and fire rings. The lake itself is 215 acres with a maximum depth of 38 feet.

Butte Lake campground is a great place for those seeking water-based recreation. The lake is full of trout and includes a boat launch. Swimming is permitted. Perhaps the most unusual thing about Butte Lake is its underwater lava field. The western shore of the lake borders the Fantastic Lava Beds, making for unusual shoreline features.

Butte Lake also has a group camp site which is open June 13 to September 12. Groups must be from 10 to 25 people. The fee is $50 per night. Six vehicles per site, motorhomes and trailers have to use provided parking lanes. Reservations available. On top of the group camping site, Butte Lake also has a Stock Corral for campers. This is open June 13 to September 12. Fees are $4 for each animal per night plus $16 per night for campsite. No grazing is allowed. Campers must bring their own feed, and scoop manure into the provided container. Users must camp at the corral sites. Maximum 8 animals. Reservations required for Butte Lake Stock Corral: 530- 335-7029


Butte Lake is another great spot in Lassen Volcanic for those seeking a remote camping experience.

 

Butte Lake campground facts:


Video Tour available: No
Open: June 3 to October 24
Sites: 101
Laundry: No (29 miles Manzanita)
Showers: No (29 miles to Manzanita)
Dump Station: No (29 miles Manzanita)
Store: No (29 miles to Manzanita)
Quiet Hours: 10 am to 6 am
Fee: $16, $10 for remote season camping
Vehicle length limit: standard RV's
Handicapped Accessible: Yes (site A6)
Toilets: Yes | Tables: Yes | Fire rings: Yes
Water: Yes
Only Three tents per site or one RV, max 6 people
Elevation: 6,050 feet
Fishing: Butte Lake, trout
Generator: Yes (8 am to 8 pm reasonable usage)
Gas: No (29 miles to Manzanita)
Repairs: No(29 miles to Manzanita)
Reservations: Yes ( Loop B, June 3 to September 12) 1-877-444-6777.



















 

 

 

 NEW! Lassen Volcanic National Park campground tours are now available! Includes video tours of Manzanita Lake, Crags, North Summit, South Summit and Southwest Campgrounds. Our files work on any iPod, iPhone, iPad, Android or home computer. Click the iPod to order. Or use Buy Now:


Parkcamper: Northern Rocky
Mountains Edition features
the campgrounds of Glacier,
Yellowstone, Grand Teton,
Badlands and Theodore
Roosevelt National Parks.
Click the DVD to order!