About Lassen Volcanic National Park and Lava Beds National Monument
Joined from Between Sacramento and Yreka, this north-eastern corner of California is where the population is thin and local news is made by record-breaking salmon catches. In 1915, however, it was a volcanic eruption that captured the headlines, and Lassen Volcanic National Park – the scene of the eruption and centerpiece of this exploration – is laced by busy fumaroles, hot springs and bubbling mud pits.
An early booking might enable you to spend a night inside the park, but Susanville is a more likely overnight stop for access to the best places to visit. Susanville compensates for its isolation with a small-town friendliness, and the fact that you can do a day’s detour from the town by foot or bicycle.
From here the scenery soon becomes monotonous and the sole reward is the lava caves of the Lava Beds National Monument. Fascinating though they are, you’ll need to decide for yourself whether the caves will justify the journey. If you decide they do, your second night should be spent at any convenient town in Between Sacramento and Yreka.
The only public transportation in the area is the once-daily (except Sunday) Mt. Lassen Motor Transit (http://mtlassentransit.com) mail/passenger bus between Red Bluff and Susanville, which calls at Mineral, close to the entrance to Lassen Volcanic National Park.