Special Places

Here are some of our favorite places on the Lassen National Forest. We hope that you enjoy them as much as we do! Please note that pets must always be restrained or on a leash while in developed recreation sites, and that pets (except guide dogs) are not allowed in swimming areas.

Almanor Beach

A large day use beach with a swimming area protected by buoys to separate swimmers from motor boats, jet skis, and other lake users.  Ample parking is provided within walking distance.

Caribou Lake Trailhead

Wilderness trailhead at eastern boundary of Caribou Wilderness.  Access via Silver Lake Road or 10 Road to Caribou Lake.  Serves as primary wilderness access.  Parking for 20 vehicles and bulletin board provided.  Small boats may be launched into Caribou Lake from trailhead when lake levels allow.

Dow Butte Lookout

Dow Butte Lookout is a former fire lookout now available for the public to tour and enjoy the view.

Gallatin Beach

Day use area near Aspen campground. Great for family fun, sandcastles, sunbathing, and swimming. No lifeguard on duty.

Hat Creek Rim Overview

Scenic overlook of the Hat Creek Valley. Interpretive site with access to the Pacific Crest Trail. Picnic tables and vault toilets are located at the overlook, but there is no running water.

Stop by for a stunning view, a picnic, or a stroll along the Hat Creek Rim on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Heart Lake Trailhead

This scenic National Recreation Trail climbs 3 miles along South Digger Creek to a beautiful mountain lake.  Enjoy peaceful birdsong and a stunning view of Brokeoff Mountain.

Ishi Wilderness

Ishi Wilderness

In the southern Cascade foothills, approximately twenty miles east of Red Bluff, California, lies the Ishi Wilderness, a unique 41,000 acre, low-elevation wilderness. This is a land incised by wind and water, dotted with basaltic outcroppings, caves, and bizarre pillar lava formations. This is up and down country, a series of east-west running ridges framed by rugged river canyons.

The Ishi is named for a Yahi Yana Indian who was the last survivor of his tribe, who lived in the area for over three thousand years. Shortly after 1850, the white settlers killed all but a handful of the Yahi. Ishi (the Yahi word for man) and a few others escaped and lived quietly for decades in this harsh, wild country.

When visiting the Wilderness, please respect this cultural heritage. Remember that all archaeological and historical sites and artifacts are protected by federal law and should not be disturbed.

The Tehama deer herd, the largest migratory herd in California, winters in the area. Other wildlife include wild hog, mountain lion, black bear, coyote, bobcat and rabbit. Most of the Ishi Wilderness is also a State Game Refuge where hunting is not permitted.

Deer and Mill Creeks are home to many types of fish. However, special fishing regulations are in effect for these streams. Please check the State of California's Fishing Regulations before fishing. A valid California fishing license is required.

Rock cliffs provide nesting sites for a variety of raptors including hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls. Other common sightings include wild turkey, quail, mourning doves, canyon wrens, band-tailed pigeons, and myriad songbirds.

Lake Almanor Recreation Trail

This trail is an easy to moderate 19 mile round trip opportunity.  Park at the junction of Highway 89 and forest road 27N52 to begin.  Users may also access the trail from numerous points along Highway 89 for shorter 4 to 5 mile round trips.  The trail winds through a mixed conifer forest with spectacular views of Lake Almanor, Dyer Mountain, and Lassen Peak.  Watch for wildlife as you may see bald eagles, osprey, and goshawk.  The Lake Almanor Recreation Trail is closed to all motorized vehicles.

Locherman Canyon

Locherman Canyon is a one-mile interpretive trail and outdoor classroom with an amphitheater.  Call the Almanor Ranger District office at 530-258-2141 for more information.

Old Station Visitor Information Center

The Old Station Visitor Information Center is the hub of the Hat Creek recreation area. Here you can view interpretive displays including a living trout exhibit (seasonal) and delightful gardens. It is a pleasant stop to get answers to your forest questions. Maps, wood cutting permits, Christmas tree permits (Nov- Dec) nature books and interpretive items are available for sale.

Pacific Crest Trail

2,650 miles from Mexico to Cananda and by far the most popular trail in the west, the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) runs right though Lassen National Forest and Lassen Volcanic National Park. Hat Creek Ranger District has 64 miles along mountain ridges, deep forests and open country. The views from this portion of the trail are outrageous -- Lassen Peak and Mt. Shasta! Elevations along the trail range from 3,200 to 5,500 feet. Portions of the trail are under snow until late spring. There is no water available for approximately 26 miles along the Hat Creek Rim.

Spattercone Nature Trail

Current Status: Spattercone Day Use Area is closed due to damage from a severe storm.  We are making repairs and will re-open the site as soon as possible.

Self-guided interpretive trail through the origin of the Hat Creek Lava Flow.  See spatter cones, craters, and a beautiful view of the Hat Creek Valley.  Loop trail, approximately 1.7 miles long.

Spencer Meadow Trailhead

Alpine meadows, tall timber, and flowing creeks await on the Spencer Meadow Trail. Stretching six miles, Spencer Meadow is registered as a National Recreation Trail. See the American Trails website  for more information on National Recreation Trail designation.

Subway Cave

Explore the underground world of a lava tube. The self-guided trail is approximately 1/3 mile long and the cave is completely dark, so don't forget to bring a flashlight.

The floor is rough and jagged so wear sturdy shoes. A light jacket will ward off the chill as the cave remains a cool 46 degrees F.  Neither hardhats nor crawling is required!

Pets are not allowed.

Subway Cave self-Guided Trail

Take a journey through 1/3 mile of a winding lava tube.  You will need to furnish your own flashlight in order to find your way and to read the reflective interpretive signs (rentals available nearby).

The floor is rough and jagged so wear sturdy shoes. A light jacket will ward off the chill as the cave remains a cool 46 degrees F.  Neither hardhats nor crawling is required!

Thousand Lakes Wilderness

Thousand Lakes Wilderness

Located within the southern portion of the Cascade Mountain Range is 16,335 acres of contrasting topography.   Thousand Lakes Wilderness is midway between the town of Burney and Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Volcanic and glacial formations, rocky ravines, mountain slopes, open meadows, and stands of lodgepole pine and red fir define the Wilderness. It is dominated by 8,677 foot Crater Peak, the highest point on the Lassen National Forest, and is a reminder of the glacial action that eroded Thousand Lakes Volcano and created the many small lakes and ponds scattered throughout. The lowest point in the Wilderness occurs at the base of the volcano at 5,546 feet.

The seven major lakes that lie within the Wilderness valley contain trout. Several species of wildlife make their home in the Wilderness. With a little luck and a good pair of binoculars you might spot some the more permanent residents; black-tailed deer, black bear, pika, pine marten, northern goshawk, spotted owl, pileated woodpecker, and Clark's nutcracker. Even elk have been known to visit occasionally.

Another critter worth mentioning is the mosquito. At times they are thick and hungry. It would be advisable to carry insect repellent in your pack.

The summer use period is approximately June 15 to October 15, although early spring could open up the lower areas by Memorial Day. Your experience will be enhanced and impacts will lessened by avoiding weekends and holidays, and heavily used areas.

For more special places, visit our Recreation page.

Highlighted Areas

Heart Lake Recreation Trail

This  National Scenic Trail climbs 3 miles along South Digger Creek to a beautiful mountain lake.  Enjoy peaceful birdsong and a stunning view of Brokeoff Mountain.


Legacy Campground

Legacy is a developed campground with 14 sites; maximum of 8 people is allowed per single site; 16 people maximum are allowed per double site. Water and electrical hookups are provided at each site, two sets of hook ups are provided at double site 11.   An RV pay per use dump station is located next to the campground.  Call the Almanor Ranger District for more information at (530) 258-2141.


Ashpan

Snowmobile staging area for the Ashpan Groomed Snowmobile System


Subway Cave

Explore the underground world of a lava tube. The self-guided trail is approximately 1/3 mile long and the cave is completely dark, so don't forget to bring a flashlight.

The floor is rough and jagged so wear sturdy shoes. A light jacket will ward off the chill as the cave remains a cool 46 degrees F.  Neither hardhats nor crawling is required!

Pets are not allowed.


Bridge Picnic Area

Bridge Day Use Area sits along the bubbling waters of Hat Creek.  Picnic tables and barbeques are available.  Great fishing opportunities.


Old Station Visitor Information Center

The Old Station Visitor Information Center is the hub of the Hat Creek recreation area. Here you can view interpretive displays including a living trout exhibit (seasonal) and delightful gardens. It is a pleasant stop to get answers to your forest questions. Maps, wood cutting permits, Christmas tree permits (Nov- Dec) nature books and interpretive items are available for sale.


Eskimo Hill

Winter sports area/snow sledding hill


Thousand Lakes Wilderness

Located within the southern portion of the Cascade Mountain Range is 16,335 acres of contrasting topography.   Thousand Lakes Wilderness is midway between the town of Burney and Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Volcanic and glacial formations, rocky ravines, mountain slopes, open meadows, and stands of lodgepole pine and red fir define the Wilderness. It is dominated by 8,677 foot Crater Peak, the highest point on the Lassen National Forest, and is a reminder of the glacial action that eroded Thousand Lakes Volcano and created the many small lakes and ponds scattered throughout. The lowest point in the Wilderness occurs at the base of the volcano at 5,546 feet.

The seven major lakes that lie within the Wilderness valley contain trout. Several species of wildlife make their home in the Wilderness. With a little luck and a good pair of binoculars you might spot some the more permanent residents; black-tailed deer, black bear, pika, pine marten, northern goshawk, spotted owl, pileated woodpecker, and Clark's nutcracker. Even elk have been known to visit occasionally.

Another critter worth mentioning is the mosquito. At times they are thick and hungry. It would be advisable to carry insect repellent in your pack.

The summer use period is approximately June 15 to October 15, although early spring could open up the lower areas by Memorial Day. Your experience will be enhanced and impacts will lessened by avoiding weekends and holidays, and heavily used areas.




https://www.fs.usda.gov/attmain/lassen/specialplaces