Last minute backpacking trips can be hard to come by near the Bay Area, with permits to many of the country’s best backcountry destinations booking up months in advance. But fear not, there are always ways for any true “backglamper” to plan a quick trip to the wilderness.
Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of those perfect last-minute destinations, with no advanced permits required and only an hour’s drive from Redding. Also, it’s free! Who knew there was a volcanically-active area so close to the city!? It’s especially appealing to us who live in SF and are becoming increasingly discouraged by the always-impending fog. And since it’s so close to the Oregon border, it’s also pretty accessible for PNW-ers.
What’s even better about the usually warm weather at Lassen is that it makes for the perfect lake dip at the end of a hard day of ‘packing. Add a tallboy of semi-warm beer that you decided to lug 7+ miles (a sign of a true glamper) and you’ve got yourself a perfect summer evening treat.
While Lassen doesn’t have the typical mountainous views that you may find in the Sierras, it still has the awe-inspiring Lassen Volcanic Peak, and of course, that breath of long-awaited fresh forest air.
Another bonus is that since this isn’t as popular as some of its other neighbors (ever heard of Yosemite?) you won’t have to beat the hordes of tourists. Not only was there no one camping near our tent, but we got to soak in this gorgeous sunset all to ourselves.
If you’re interested in exploring Lassen Volcanic National Park, you can learn more about backcountry trails in this area here.
Note: we visited Lassen before the Carr fire. Sending positive thoughts to all of the brave firefighters and those with properties affected.