Composed of over 1,700 square miles in Northeastern California, Lassen National Forest is one of the state’s premier outdoor recreation areas. It spreads across five counties in Northern California and offers three officially designated wilderness areas, lakes, many campgrounds, and biking and hiking trails, including a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail, which stretches from Canada to Mexico along the Western United States.
Surrounding Lassen Volcanic National Park, the forest includes varying elevation, climate, terrain and wildlife. Many areas and campgrounds have occasional predators such as mountain lions and bears, so it is important that campgrounds come equipped with bear lockers that can be used to store food and scented personal items. It’s always a good idea to keep a close eye on pets and come prepared with whistles or other safety precautions when camping in wilderness areas.
Within Lassen National Forest, there are a wide variety of outdoor activities you can do with your dog. In addition to the many campgrounds, there is also fishing, boating, and hiking trails. Check out the Spattercone Nature Trail for a unique view of a fissure, cones and craters of the Hat Creek Lava Flow.
Many parts of the forest receive significant amounts of snow during the winter. Sledding or snowmobiling in the winter, especially near available cabin rentals, are pupular during the snowy season.
Most areas are open to pets, as long as they are on a leash of no more than six feet at all times. In the backcountry, your dog can ditch the leash if they are good under voice command, but in developed areas such as campgrounds and picnic areas, they'll need to go back on leash. Dogs are also prohibited from swimming areas. Some places within Lassen National Forest allow backpack camping, but be aware of restricted areas and always be prepared for weather conditions and predators, especially at higher elevations and in more remote areas.
If you bring your dog into wilderness areas off-leash, make sure they always obey voice commands. Be aware of other critters, from ticks and snakes to mountain lions and bears. With amenities few and far between, pack all the needed essentials for your time in the forest. Snacks and water to share should always be on hand. Bring clean-up bags and always pick up whatever your pup lays down. Pack out any trash, as there are no trash cans in the forest.
Lassen National Forest is a truly puptastic place to get away from it all and experience some of California's remarkable natural spaces. Bring your pup for an adventure today!