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Manzanita Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park

Picturesque Lassen peaks are reflected by the tranquil waters of Manzanita Lake on this short 2 mile loop trail.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 2 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview :  On a clear day the short and easy 2 mile loop hike around sparkling Manzanita Lake is the perfect introduction to Lassen Volcanic... more »

Tips:  • Snow covers the Lassen landscape for much of the year and some roads and trails may not be open - even in summer. Check the links... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead & Visitor Center

The hike begins by the visitor center just inside the northern park boundary. Head south of the parking, museum and restroom to reach the trailhead which begins as a narrow paved trail.

2. Junction

Turn right at the sign, and head off on a counter-clockwise route towards the lake edge. The circuit of Manzanita Lake offers plenty of shade thanks to the Jeffrey pines which tower above you.

Be sure to check out the little coves facing out onto the lake to capture the best views of Lassen Peak and Chaos Crags.

3. Stream

The trail bridge carries you across the rushing waters of Manzanita creek as it exits the lake heading downstream.

Here you'll find a bench fashioned out of a fallen tree, which is a great place to admire the views and watch the dragonflies dart across the surface of the water.

4. Five Steps

These five steps elevating you to the top of a small levee are the only steps you'll find on the Manzanita Lake loop trail.

5. Jeffrey Pine Grove

Young evergreens line the trail running parallel to the water's edge, providing plenty of shade and often blocking out the light entirely.

6. Campground Entrance

Continue on your counterclockwise route of the lake.

The inland trail at this junction leads to the large Manzanita Lake Campground, which is a popular federal campsite and a great base for a Lassen Visit.

7. Boat Launch (Alt Trailhead)

All boats are launched into the lake from this location. Kayaks can be rented at this location, and if the attendant is not present, check at the campground store directly east of here.

Continuing northward into the woodland past several picnic tables the trail seems to vanish on occasion. Walk parallel with the parking lot and soon you'll pick... More

8. Manzanita Creek Bridge

Crossing the bridge over the lake inlet, your short hike is quickly coming to a close. The trail leads back to the trailhead junction and then returns to the visitor center.