The trailhead can be found just a short way from the Lassen National Forest main entrance, off Highway 89/Lassen Forest Road. There are 3 other access points as well: at one end of Church Camp Trail on Highway 36, at the trail head for Nanny Creek Trail, also on Highway 36, and the terminus of Dry Lake Trail near the Dry Lake Campground. Parking can be had at Church Camp Trail and Nanny Creek Trail, as well as at the main entrance off Highway 89. You won't find amenities at the trailheads, but there are several ski rental shops and restaurants where restrooms, food and drinking water are available. Be sure to bring any essentials with you for the trek, including clean up bags and water.
Of the 10 trails in the Ski Area, the Dry Lake is the most difficult, owing to its length and at least one treacherous, steep and icy portion near the main trail head. At about 9 miles long, this trail requires careful pre-planning and stocking of water and snacks. If traveling the full length isn't appealing, an intersection with Nanny Creek Trail sits at about the halfway point of Dry Lake. Arguably the easiest trail is the McGowan Road Trail which is about 1.25 mile long and ends at the regional weather station.
If you and your furry bestie are hiking or snowshoeing in the winter, please be sure to stay to the side of the cross-country ski tracks to preserve them. Because Lassen is a volcanic park, be on the lookout for evidence of the lava rock piles formed centuries ago. These can cause damage to Fido's paw pads and nails, and unless your pup is part mountain goat, some of these spots should be avoided for their safety.
Whatever time of year you visit this group of interlocking trails, your experience can be customized to you and your furry friend's skill and stamina level, and amount of time available. What could be more woofderful?
In the winter, all vehicles must be wearing or carrying tire chains, or suffer citations.