The National Park has been in existence since 1916 and comprises an area of close to 43,000 hectares. The native inhabitants who traditionally lived in this region already knew about the activity on the inside of the mountain and when settlers on their way to the West passed through here in the mid-19th century, some of them reported to have seen fires and lava.
On the initiative of former US President Theodore Roosevelt, the area was made a National Monument in 1907. Later, a number of surrounding properties were added to the area. Large parts of the National Park are designated wildnis areas, which means that nature was only encroached on minimally in order to make it accessible for visitors. Regardless, there are various options for visitors to explore the National Park. There is a network of hiking trails with a total length of more than 240 kilometers and trails with various lengths. In winter, nordic skiing is possible and in the summer, three of the eight lakes within the park can be used for canoeing. At Manzanita Lake near the park entry, kayaks are available for rent. In addition, there are eight campgrounds in the National Park, for which advance reservations are recommended. One of these campgrounds is located on the eastern shoreline of Juniper Lake, a large lake at an altitude of 2000 meters in the park’s southeastern section. From the tiny town of Chester, the lake can be reached via an unpaved road.
Altogether, there are roads leading into the National Park in five different locations, those are not paved in some parts. The Main Park Road leads from the Northwestern entrance, which may be reached via the town of Redding, through the entire Park up to the southeastern entrance near Chester. Here, there is also the Visitors Center as well as a small store and a café. Near Manzanita Lake, there is a small museum and a camping store, which is usually the starting point for tours and guided hikes as offered by the Park Rangers. Further accommodation options apart from the campgrounds are a guest ranch within park limits and various options in the area surrounding the park.
Further information on Lassen Volcanic National Park on the National Park Service website.