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Lassen Volcanic National Park: The West’s Most Beautiful, Least-Visited Wonderland (Photos)

Wildlife residents

Lassen Volcanic National Park

(Image credit: NPS)

Over 300 species of vertebrates make their homes in the diverse habitats found within Lassen Volcanic National Park. Mixed conifer forests of white fir, red fir and lodgepole pine make ideal environments for black bear (shown here), mule deer, brown creepers, woodpeckers and multiple species of bats. At the higher park elevations in the subalpine zone live golden-mantled ground squirrels, pika and gray-crowned rosy finches.

Winter playground

Lassen Volcanic National Park

(Image credit: NPS)

Winter comes early to Lassen Volcanic National Park. Snow often begins to fall in October, and some 30 feet (9 m) commonly accumulate before spring once again arrives in early June. Skiing trails are found throughout the park. Ranger-led snowshoe programs are offered each winter weekend. Many visitors come to the park each winter just to make snow angels and have an old-fashion, family snowball fight. The road to Mount Lassen, shown here, is cleared of snow and waiting to take visitors to this most special winter playground.

Most beautiful wonderland

Lassen Volcanic National Park

(Image credit: NPS)

Sunset Magazine once wrote that Lassen Volcanic National Park is "the West's most beautiful, least visited wonderland." The park gets fewer than 400,000 visitors each year, making any visit less crowded and more intimate for those who make its discovery, than in other parks. The clear nighttime sky above the park, shown here, makes for a stargazer’s paradise. Lassen Volcanic National Park is huge and beautiful and quiet — and that makes for a special and awesome experience.