Description - The Lassen National Forest lies in a fascinating part of California. This part of northeast California is where the Sierra Nevada, the Cascades, the Modoc Plateau and the Great Basin meet. The Forest encircles Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Copyright: - US Forest Service
Eagle Lake, Lassen National Forest
- Located just northwest of Susanville, Eagle Lake is the second largest natural lake in California. Enjoy recreational activities such as camping, fishing, swimming, picnicking, and boating. Family and group campgrounds, naturalist activities, marina, boat launch facilities, store, laundry and showers are available. The five-mile long South Shore Trail is ideal for bicycles or just an easy pleasant stroll. Framed by a canopy of pine trees, Eagle Lake is known for its trophy trout averaging three to five pounds.
The Lassen Scenic Byway is a 187-mile trip that circles through the volcanic high country and forests of Lassen National Forest and Lassen National Park. 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.
The Forest encompasses three designated Wilderness Areas. The Ishi Wilderness lies in the southern Cascade foothills in the southeast portion of the Forest, approximately twenty miles east of Red Bluff. It is 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 sun burnt south slopes carry brush (a mixture of species called chaparral). Pines and oaks live on the moister north-facing slopes, and more lush riparian forests line the river banks. Unique to this area are the pine stands, dense islands of ponderosa pine growing on terraces left after rivers cut the canyons.
The Caribou Wilderness lies adjacent to the east side of Lassen Volcanic National Park. It consists of a gentle, rolling, forested plateau with many forest fringed lakes. Reminders of volcanic and glacial origin can be seen throughout these wildlands. Crater peaks, cinder cones and numerous large and small depressions have become beautiful lakes and are scattered throughout this plateau region. Caribou Peaks, Black Cinder Rock, and Red Cinder are points of interest. The average elevation is 6,900 feet. The highest point, Red Cinder, is 8,370 feet. From here there are majestic views of the lofty mountains that surround this primitive wilderness. Located on the eastern slopes of what was once Mount Tehama, this area is surrounded by the volcanic peaks of Swain Mountain, Bogard Buttes, Prospect Peak, Ash Butte, Red Cinder Cone and Mount Harkness.
Located within the southern portion of the Cascade Mountain Range is 16,335 acres of contrasting topography of the Thousand Lakes Wilderness. It is located 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 know to visit occasionally.
Recreation - The Lassen National Forest offers a variety of summertime recreational experiences including camping, hiking, bicycling, fishing, and boating. For the more adventurous, imagine yourself exploring a lava tube; watching a pronghorn antelope glide across sage flats; or driving a four-wheel drive vehicle into the high backcountry dotted with sapphire lakes.
With its varied terrain, dozens of lakes, scenic vistas and numerous trailheads, Lassen National Forest is a hiker's, backpacker's and equestrians' paradise. Some popular trails on the Forest include the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, Heart Lake National Recreation Trail, Spencer Meadows National Recreation Trail, Spattercone Crest Trail, Subway Cave Lava Tube Guided Trail and Bizz Johnson Trail.
As snow blankets the Forest, the roads and trails open up to lots of wintertime adventures. Snowmobiling over miles and miles of groomed trails, cross-country skiing in wilderness lands, downhill skiing on uncrowded slopes, and just plain old-fashioned fun in the snow.
Cross-country Skiing: The Lassen offers miles and miles of established and marked trails in the Colby Creek and McGowen Lake areas. A real favorite for Nordic buffs, is the historic Biz Johnson National Recreation Trail.
Snowmobiling: Stands of aspen and dogwood lend beautiful contrast to a pine and fir forest. The trail, which follows Martin Creek, offers picturesque views of Lassen Peak and Brokeoff Mountain. The trail runs 3.5 miles from the Martin Creek trailhead to Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Climate - As throughout much of California, most of the precipitation in the Lassen National Forest area comes during the winter months. Much of the precipitation comes in the form of snow in the high elevations. Snow covers much of the high elevations from late fall into spring. During years of heavy snowfall, the highest elevation roads and trails road may remains snowed in through June. Late spring through early fall normally brings mostly sunny skies with warm daytime temperatures and cool nighttime temperatures.
The Lassen National Forest lies in northeast California, at the south end of the Cascade Range and the north end of the Sierra Nevada. It is located roughly between the towns of Chico and Susanville. The Forest is headquartered in Susanville, with offices also in Chester and Fall River Mills.