If you are in California and looking to go camping with your pup, Lassen Volcanic National Park is a great place to go. The main attraction of the park is Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world. There are eight established campgrounds where you may bring your dog. The campgrounds range from rustic to developed and vary in elevation. The higher spots may be closed for more of the year due to snow levels. Most spots are generally open between late June and early October.
Pets, however, are not permitted on any of the trails in the park or any wilderness areas. This is because Lassen Volcanic National Park has protections in place for local wildlife. Dogs wandering through the wilderness disrupt the natural ecosystems, may harm or scare off other animals, and many areas that people explore within the park may be dangerous for your dog to walk on. Volcanic soils and hydrothermal areas, for example, can seriously injure a dog’s feet.
There are, however, places where you can walk with your dog. Any roads and road shoulders, parking lots, campgrounds, and picnic areas are acceptable pet areas. And there are other trails outside the park where you can take your dog that are only a short drive away. Spattercone Nature Trail in Old Station, and Heart Lake Trail in Shingletown are a couple of nearby examples. You can check online for additional pet-friendly hiking destinations.
The fees at Lassen Volcanic National Park vary depending on the vehicle type. A standard single vehicle pass for 1-7 days is $25; a winter pass, valid between December 1 and April 15, is $10. Annual passes and other vehicle passes are also available. You can check Lassen's website to learn more.
While camping in any of Lassen Park’s campgrounds, you should keep your pet restrained and under control at all times. Clean up after your pet and be respectful of other campers. You can keep your pet on a short tether, leash, or even confined in your vehicle, as long as weather conditions don’t make it hazardous.
As both a national monument and one of California’s most beautiful wilderness areas, Lassen Volcanic National Forest is a sight not to be missed.