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Lassen Scenic Byway

Lassen National Forest-
Lassen Volcanic National Park-

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Quick Facts
Designation: USFS Scenic Byway
Length, One-Way: 185 Miles (308.33 Kilometers)
Time: 5 + Hours

General Information

Enjoy a stop at picturesque Lake Almanor - found along Lassen Scenic Byway
Copyright: - US National Park Service
Enjoy a stop at picturesque Lake Almanor - found along Lassen Scenic Byway
Description - This U.S. Forest Service Scenic Byway, which loops through the central portion of Lassen National Forest, encompasses the northern-most portion of the Sierra Nevada range and the western terminus of the Modoc Plateau / Great Basin landscape.

Attractions - Lassen Scenic Byway teems with natural features and outdoor activities. There are plenty of fishing spots, canyon campgrounds, secluded swimming holes, challenging hikes, interesting visitor centers, and perhaps most notable -- spectacular scenery.

The Old Station Visitor Center can help you pick a campground or recommend a hike such as Spatter Cone Crest Trail. From the trail, you can see three different types of volcanoes. Hat Creek has some of the nation's best trout fishing. For those physically challenged, there are barrier-free fishing piers and camping sites at Hat Creek and Cave campgrounds, and a fishing pier at the Old Station Day Use Area. If you enjoy exploring then stop off at Subway Cave, 1/3 mile-long volcanic lava tube (cave) that remains a constant 46 degrees F. Flashlight and buddy recommended.

Don't miss the charming town of Susanville with its Victorian homes and plenty of restaurants, bars, grocery stores, and comfortable motels. The Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail, a 25-mile former railroad line is now a trailblazer's destination. Hikers, cyclists, and equestrians find themselves along the scenic motor-free route. You can pick up a trail guide and map at the trail's start at Susanville's historic railroad depot.

Another gorgeous site along Lassen Scenic Byway is Lake Almanor. Some call it northern California's summer secret with its picturesque mountain scenery rising above the sapphire waters.

Winter Travel: Please note that the byway remains open during the winter -- bringing cross-country skiiers, snowmobilers, and dogsled racers to the Forest's developed winter recreation areas. The road through Lassen National Park, however, is closed by snow in winter. This leaves the Park to backcountry skiers who savor the solitude.

Recreation - Along the trip, you can see historic sites, volcanic and geothermal features, wildlife, and some of the nicest views in Northern California -- all in an uncrowded, peaceful atmosphere.

Climate - Climate in the Shasta-Cascade Region varies greatly with elevation. Higher elevations tend to have much cooler temperatures and higher precipitation. Summer weather is usually hot and dry with lower elevation temperatures ranging from 85° - 100°+ F and lows from 60° - 70° F. Fall days are usually mild and warm, with cool nights. Winter is when most of the precipitation falls, averaging over 55 inches per year, much of it in the form of snow in the high elevations. Highs range from 40° - 60° F and lows from 30° - 40° F in the lower elevations. Spring weather is variable with many pleasant days.

Location - This byway is located in the Shasta Cascade Region of Northern California. It roughly loops around Lassen Volcanic National Park.

If you begin the byway at Old Station, take Highway 44 southeast to the junction with Highway 36, whereupon you follow 36 to the right. Follow it past Westwood to the Junction with Highway 147. At this point you can either continue straight on Highway 36 or follow 147 as it loops around Lake Almanor and meets up with 36 again just past Chester. At the junction with Highway 89 turn right and journey through Lassen Volcanic National Park (NPS entrance fee) past the junction with Highway 44 to conclude at Old Station. The byway can also be driven in the opposite direction.

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Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Jim and Linda (Shingletown, Ca)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: We were heading to Battle Creek Reservoir off Hwy 44 and stumbled on the Back Roads Discovery Trail signs. We followed the signs and continued on the trail and back to Hwy 44 on a completely different route than we had planned. After searching the internet we discovered all the great information available for the "Back Roads Discovery Trail. We hope to get the map for all the trails tomorrow and continue our journey. The roads were good and there is a campground at Battle Creek.

Recreation Opportunities
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ICON Scenic Driving Lassen Scenic Byway
ICON Viewing Scenery Lassen Scenic Byway

More Information

Additional Information:
California Scenic Byways - California offers one All American Road, two National Scenic Byways, and well over 50 state and National Forest designated scenic byways.

Scenic Byways Homepage - National Scenic Byways official web site with detailed info on all national and state byways.


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