Thousand Lakes Wilderness

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Seiler Lake

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.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Come visit the beautiful Thousand Lakes Wilderness. There are several lakes scattered throughout mountainous volcanic formations, rocky ravines, open meadows and stands of red fir and lodge pole pine. Wildlife is abundant here and home to deer, bears, goshawks and much more! You are welcome to do a day hike or enjoy a beautiful evening amongst the stars. Conditions may change rapidly. Be prepared for inclement weather.
Operational Hours: June - October
Fees No fee
Permit Info: No wilderness permits required.  Campfire permits are required for stoves and lanterns.
Open Season: Late May/ Early June - October
Usage: Light-Medium
Best Season: Summer
Restrictions: Please pack out garbage.
Closest Towns: Thousand Lakes is centrally located between Burney and Lassen Volcanic National Park.  Nearest provisions are in Old Station or Burney.
Water: No
Restroom: Vaults toilests at some trailheads.
Operated By: US Forest Service
Information Center: Hat Creek Ranger District PO BOX 220 Fall River Mills CA 96071 530-336-5521

General Information


Adequate parking for horse trailers.

General Notes:

For more information and Topographic Maps:
Contact the Hat Creek Ranger District at P.O. Box 220, Fall River Mills, CA 96028, (530) 336-5521.

For more information and Topographic Maps:
A topographic map that includes Thousand Lakes, Caribou, and the Ishi Wilderness areas is available for purchase at the Hat Creek Ranger District and our Old Station Visitor Center. For questions and pricing or if you would like one mailed to you, please contact the Hat Creek Ranger District at (530) 336-5521.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Camping & Cabins

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Horse Riding & Camping

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Water Activities

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