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LVNP trip in Oct 2015

Sydney, Australia
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18 posts
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LVNP trip in Oct 2015

Hi all

I'm planning a USA trip with the family (me, wife, two kids 2.5 and 7.5) in Oct/Nov 2015. On our last trip, we did a clockwise loop from LA that took us through Las Vegas, southern Utah, Arizona, San Diego and Anaheim. This time, the plan is to do an anti-clockwise loop from LA, up to the northern part of California and then San Francisco down to Anaheim via the PCH.

My question is for the LVNP portion of the trip. How it usually works is that my wife thumbs through travel books, points at a picture and says "I want to go to there", and leaves me to do the research and planning on how to fit it into the overall trip. So I don't really know much about the place at the moment. I know that we will try to fit it in between Lake Tahoe and the Redwood state parks on the coast.

1. What are the best routes to follow? Scenic would be best, but it depends on how much extra time it would take over following a direct highway.

2. What are some options for accomodation? Most likely to be a 2-night stop so we can drive on day 1, explore LVNP on day 2 and get going early on day 3 towards the coast. Doesn't have to be luxury, but we will have kids in tow so a basic level of comfort would be great.

3. Is a single day trip into the park enough to check it out? As mentioned we will have young kids, so really only the shortest and easiest of trails will be feasible. I would like to do the one to Bumpass Hell, 3ish miles doesn't seem too bad if the weather is good.

thanks in advance for your help.


Lewiston, California
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1. Re: LVNP trip in Oct 2015

No accommodations in the Park But lots near by. The park is very high up so October most campgrounds are closed in the park. If you have all day with small kids a day should allow you to see the high points of the park. It is lovely but more so in the early Summer with Lassen covered in snow. This

this year not so much however,

Napa, CA
Destination Expert
for Napa
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2. Re: LVNP trip in Oct 2015

The road through Lassen may or may not be open when you visit. It usually closes in mid-October but sometimes stays open until November. It depends on the snowfall. The road goes above 8,000 feet and it will be cold up there which might limit the activities for you.

I would suggest driving from Tahoe to Chester on CA 89. Spend the night and then drive through the Park the next day providing the road is open. You can visit the visitor center and then do the Bumpass Hell Trail before driving over to Manzanita Lake where you could spend an hour or so and also visit the Loomis Museum (closes Oct 31).

Then you could drive to Redding, visit Turtle Bay, and spend the night. The next day drive CA 299 via the Trinity Alps over to Arcata for your redwoods adventure.

Mineral, California
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3. Re: LVNP trip in Oct 2015


As previous users commented, the road through the park (Lassen National Park Highway/Hwy 89) is closed in the winter due to snow and ice. Lassen can get over 30 feet of snow each winter! That being said, it could be open in October and into November but I would suggest planning to visit Lassen earlier rather than later in your journey.

Highway 89 from Truckee, CA up to Chester, CA is a good route (as Sonapaoma suggests). The route takes you from the Sierra Mountains into the Cascade Mountain range and is very scenic. Accommodations are available in Chester, Mineral, and Mill Creek (see our Lodging page here: http://www.nps.gov/lavo/planyourvisit/lodging.htm).

Consider alternate regions of the park to visit. The Warner Valley area is spectacular with many hydrothermal/geothermal features to explore and the trails are not difficult (e.g. 2 mile round-trip hike to Boiling Springs Lake, and 4 mile round-trip, 300 ft total elevation gain, to Devils Kitchen). You can access Warner Valley from the town of Chester. It is 17 miles from Chester to the trailheads in the park. Keep in mind that the last 2 miles of this road are not paved. Warner Valley is at a lower elevation than the western region of the park and is likely to be less impacted by autumn snowfall.

Day 2 of your trip could be spent at Warner Valley and the next day you could drive the park highway and perhaps do a morning hike (should the road be open). Bumpass Hell is one of the highlights of the park and is an excellent destination. The trailhead is located 6 miles from the southwest entrance of the park along the main park highway (hwy 89) and is at 8000 ft in elevation. Access to the high elevation areas in the park (Bumpass Hell, Lake Helen) will be dependent on weather conditions. Feel free to contact us directly prior to your trip at 530-595-4480. We can give you a detailed update on current conditions.

Good luck in your planning and we look forward to seeing you next year.



Park Ranger

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: LVNP trip in Oct 2015

Thanks for the suggestions, guys!

I'll have a look and see what accommodation I can find in the area. Hopefully it is open, otherwise it'll just have to be a bit of a drive-through.

5. Re: LVNP trip in Oct 2015

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