Manzanita Lake Campground (elevation 5,900 ft.) is the largest campground in Lassen Volcanic National Park. It is within walking distance of the scenic Manzanita Lake, a popular fishing and family destination, and offers impressive views of Lassen Peak, the largest volcano in the park at 10,457 feet.
The facility is conveniently located one mile south of the park entrance, close to The Loomis Museum, Loomis Ranger Station and popular hiking trails. Educational programs are presented at the museum and amphitheater.
Manzanita Lake is popular with fly fishermen, but the campground does maintain a catch-and-release policy. Non-motorized boating is also permitted and Kayak rentals are available nearby. The park boasts more than 150 miles of hiking trails, a variety of which can be accessed from the campground, including family-friendly hikes as well as those for more experienced hikers.
Manzanita Lake Campground is forested with Jeffrey and Ponderosa pines and has many comforts in the campground or close by, including pay showers, a general store and paved roads.
Flush toilets and running water are turned on during the summer, vault toilets are available outside of the peak season. For more information visit Campgrounds of Lassen Volcanic.
The national park is known for its volcanic history, as well as its diversity of plants and animals. It contains 300 active volcanic domes, as well as many hydrothermal features, such as mud pots and steam vents. Lassen Peak is the southernmost active volcano in the Cascades, and the second most recent to erupt in the lower 48 of the United States before Mount Saint Helens.
Lassen National Park boasts over 700 species of flowering plants and 250 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and fish. The park is at the junction of the Cascade Mountains, the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Great Basin, thus providing many unique habitats.
ADA Access: N
I used to go to Lassen as a child, but have re-fallen in love with it as an adult, heading back with my children. About a million times less crowded than Yosemite and just as beautiful, Lassen does not disappoint.
Similarly, the campground at Manzanita Lake is miles above any similar campground in the centrally located parts of Yosemite (though outer campgrounds in Yosemite can be nice).
Plenty of space, good prices, beautiful trees and most of all an absolutely beautiful lake all make this campground a winner. Pretty much all of the campgrounds in Lassen are great, but this one has the benefit of being one of the larger ones, so it's (when we were there) easier to find a good spot without reservations. Can't wait to head back.
Spacious campsites with soft dirt/gravel that makes tent camping pretty comfy. Bathrooms were in good shape. The camp store is a close walk and has everything you would need. Stunning views of Lassen Peak from the lake.
California Hidden gems.
Simple to reserve/access campground near Northwest entrance of Lassen. Whole deal was easy enough to be combination somewhere between "vaguely memorable" and "appreciably easy." Fully unobtrusive experience. Racoons (er sumthin weird) kept me company a fair portion of the eve. No bother.
Very large camp near the western entrance of the Lassen Volcanic National Park. Situated on the banks of Manzanita Lake. There are numerous tent, RV, and a few cabin sites available that you can get with little advance notice, unlike many other national parks.
Manzanita has a small camp store with supplies with supplies, hook-ups, and dumpstations availability for RVs, and there is a boat launch for kayaks and canoes on the lake. You can also rent kayaks and canoes and fishing is also widely popular with licenses available in the store.
The camp is also a short drive from the very cool and historic museum that has information about the volcanic history of the park as well as early photographs of the 1915 eruption. It is well worth a visit and has a junior ranger program available for kids, plus general park information. Manzanita is probably the largest camp location within the park and is busy, but there is plenty of opportunities to escape into Lassen.
We love this campground for all of its extras while still feeling like you are in the wilderness. The campground has cabins, as well as tent and trailer spots. If you forget something, there is a small store known for its soft serve ice cream. You can rent kayaks and stand up paddle boards. Each site has a bear box which is great for keeping the chipmunks out of your food. Great views and day hikes in the Lassen National Forest.
Great camp site. We kayaked on the lake and were close enough to the showers by the general store. The park rangers did rounds at night to keep howling animals (coyotes probably) at a distance. It was a great location to drive from. We visited Lassen peak, the cinder cone, butte falls and bumpass hell.
An easy camp spot. The further down the loops the better the sites are. Some sites are close to others. The walk down to the lake isn't far. Nice for a get away! They also have cabins that you can reserve and a small store at the campground.
Manzanita Lake is a really family friendly campground. It’s great seeing the kids ride around the loop on their bicycles and scooters. We had a perimeter site in the A loop, adjacent to the trail that runs to the lake. These sites feel particularly spacious. Due to the type of pine forest, none of them will be private. The interior sites were ok on space for being in a National Park. There is a mix between 3+ night campers and the one nighters, so the park doesn’t completely empty out each day. First come first serve campers would be advised to read the reservation signs carefully, sometimes they are marked a day or two before occupancy and that might be enough time to squeeze in a visit.
There are both plumbed and vault bathrooms, but there is no electricity—so wear a headlamp to the bathroom at night. There is also a water and drain area for dumping dish-wash water, etc. Each site has a bear box, and use of it for all food and food prep, as well as toiletries is expected—campers cannot use their cars. In A loop, we are only a short walk from all things Lake, the laundry and showers, and the camp store. The store has a small menu of hot food offerings available, and the groceries surmount to things found at a gas station plus a few extras like bacon. While travelers should always buy where they burn to prevent introducing invasive bug species, buying wood right outside the park might be a smart choice; the bundles here are $10 each! Ice is $4.65+ for a small 7 lb bag. Showers are $1.75 (7 quarters) for 3 minutes. Many of the groceries are double normal prices. I didn’t dare to check their gas prices! The kayak and canoe rentals are more reasonable. Cabin packages with cook stove, etc, are no longer available with reservations—even though they are still advertised. If staying here for a bit, adventurers will have to drive through Chester to get to other points in the park, like the Devil’s Kitchen (a most beautiful hike). Chester has gas, grocery, hotels, more campgrounds, and some really great local eats. Also check out Drakesbad Ranch if comparing alternatives; we hiked by it on our outing to Devil’s Kitchen and it looks pretty neat.
Waking up to the sound of the wind in the braches of the tall pines, while feeling nothing more than a breeze down below, is a pleasant experience. The drive through Lassen Volcanic is stunning. Under the snow capped peak, wildflowers cascade down the mountainside to frolicking creeks and waterfalls. Emerald lake shines like a deep, green Emerald, and around the corner, Lake Helen is a sparkling Sapphire. The geothermal areas are always interesting and remind us of the forces behind this volcanic tower, and that Lassen is still active. All in all, a great place to car camp.
It's your typical National Park Campground. Sites aren't very private. Great for families, easy access to the lake, general store, flush toilets and showers. It's comfortable camping. We were here in late May/early June and most of the park was still closed due to snow. But it made for fun sliding down the top of a snowy volcano!