Visit our Tavern Check Availability Read our Ratings and Reviews Read our Blog

Archive for the ‘St. Bernard Lodge’ Category

Lassen Park Centennial Photo Blitz

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Take part in Lassen Park Photo Blitz

Help Lassen Park Document the Centennial Year

Lassen Park is asking for photos to capture the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service and Lassen  Volcanic National Park.  As part of the photo blitz  the park is accepting photos until the end of the calendar year.

Lassen Park is conducting this Photo Blitz looking for current day photos taken in the same location, angle, time of day as historic photos they have cataloged.  First step is to print copies of historic photos and then re-create the image as close as possible.   Taking a photo in a different season than the original photo is fine.  If possible document the GPS Coordinates for future reference.

Hat Creek Bridge in Lassen Park Photo Blitz

Hat Creek Bridge Then



Hat Creek in the Fall

Hat Creek Bridge Now



Copies of selected historic photographs of Lassen Park can be picked up at either the Loomis Museum or the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center.  For samples of then and now photos visit the online gallery.  For further information on what the Park Service is looking for please visit their photo blitz page and download the photo blitz guide.

Fall Colors in and around Lassen Park

Fall Colors from Mt. Harkness

Fall Colors from Mt. Harkness


The Fall is a great time to visit Lassen Park.  There are many hikes with great fall colors showing.  Cliff Lakes is one of the lesser known hikes that has knotweed with a rich red color.  One of my favorite fall hikes is Mt. Harkness up to the fire look-out tower.  From the look-out tower you have a great view of the Vulcan Eye on Lassen Peak, Lake Almanor and a view of the fantastic fall colors in the Warner Valley.


Centennial Parkcaching Challenge


While you are visiting Lassen Park this fall, take the Centennial Parkcaching Challenge.  Complete 6 of 11 challenges to earn a free commemorative carabiner. Stop at visitor center or download the brochure.  Once you have at least 6 of the challenges completed turn the brochure into a park ranger in exchange for your caribine.  The park caches will only be up until the end of October or when the snow requires them to be removed.






Lassen – Feather River History Loop

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016




 Time to Make Your Plans

Lassen - Feather River History Loop Map

 there is so much to see and do you will want to come back often…

each season has something special to offer

The Lassen – Feather River History Loop covers a large area in North Eastern California.  It includes  parts of Tehama, Plumas and Lassen counties.  The loop includes  history,  regional stories of diverse geology, a fantastic night sky viewing spots, amazing bird watching opportunities, and conservation activities that reflect the passion for the land of those that live here.  The loop highlights the rich history of the region and the many activities the area has to offer visitors.

Visit the Mountain Affairs website for more information on the Lassen Feather River Loop events mentioned below and many others that are scheduled throughout the year. .

Events and Festival page on St. Bernard Lodge website has many events listed in the region and slightly beyond.


Museums on the Lassen – Feather River History Loop

  • Westwood Museum

The Westwood Museum kicks off the season on May 6th, 2016 with their annual fundraising dinner at 6:00 pm.   Dinner guests will have a private tour of the museum as part of the evening activities. Guest speaker Mike Floyd will be presenting on the Western Pacific Railroad.  Mike has just produced a pamphlet on the Northern California Extension – High Line 4th Subdivision.  This pamphlet is available for purchase for $5.

Season hours are Wed. – Sat.  11 am – 4 pm through the end of September.  The museum may be reached at 530-256-2233.

  • Greenville Cy Hall Memorial Museum

The Greenville Museum opens on May 7th.  Regular hours of the Museum are Thursday – Sunday 10am – 3 pm. Featured exhibit for 2016 will be the history of Crescent Mills.


The Greenville Museum hosts three seminars each season in May, July and September.  This season’s presentations will focus on the 1970’s on May 14th, the 1980’s on July 14th and the 1990’s on September 8th.  Each program starts with a quick overview of the Maidu Indians before 1850, then a short review of each decade starting in the 1850’s.

Questions and interaction with the presenters is always encouraged.  The Cy Hall Memorial Museum can be reached at 530-284-0927.

Each presentation is video taped to save or future generations or if you happen to miss one.  Tapes may be purchased for $10 for your collection.

  • Collins Museum

Collins Museum located at Collins Pines Mill in Chester opens May 11th and will be open 9 am – 5 pm Wed- Saturday until Oct.  The mission of the Collins Pine Museum is to develop exhibits on lumbering, forestry and principles of sustainability. Terry Collins may be reached at 530-258-4441 or visit their website

  • Chester Museum

The Chester Museum stays open year round.  Museum hours are Mon, Tue and Wed.  10 am – 5:30 pm and Thursdays from 1 pm – 7 pm.  The Chester Museum adjoins the original 1929 log cabin built for the Chester Library. The Chester Library has the distinction of being the only  library in California  permanently housed in a log cabin built for that purpose.

  • Indian Valley Museum

Indian Valley Museum opens May 14th.  Regular hours are Sat. and Sun. 1 pm – 4 pm through the fall.

Special exhibit this year will be the Hardgrave Stage Coach circa 1906.This stage coach was originally owned and operated by John Hardgrave and regularly ran from Beckwourth through Genesse to Taylorsville and Greenville in the early 1900’s.

It will be a slow process to restore this stagecoach, it is estimated that it will take two or more years to complete.  Visit often to watch the transformation, of this stagecoach back to its original condition.

The museum is a central part of Pioneer Day held on June 11th. The Hardgrave Stage Coach will be on display at the Creamery from 10 am – 4 pm.  Pioneer Day has a great small town parade, rib cook-off, western shoot out, and craft vendors.  Bring the whole family to take part.

The Indian Valley Museum is well known for its large collection of gems.  A special dealer will be on site with gems and beads July 2, 3 and 4th from 10 am – 4 pm.

July 4th is always a big day for such a small town.  The museum will be hosting the 45th annual Cowboy Breakfast from 7 am – 11 am.  All you can eat.  The world famous Silver Buckle Rodeo  always brings a crown and has been held in Taylorsville since 1949.

  • Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Park will be turning 100 years old on August 9, 2016, making the park sixteen days older than the National Park Service.  The park has planned several special events to help celebrate their centennial.  A Centennial Brochure is available to download.

The Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center located near the southwest entrance to the park is open daily from April 1 through November 30 from 9 am – 5 pm.  Park film and exhibits highlight the natural and cultural history of the park. Rangers available to provide park information.

The Loomis Museum is located at the NW entrance to Lassen Park.  The museum will be open Fri- Sun from Memorial Weekend through June 12.  From June 13 through the end of October the museum is open daily from 9 am – 5 pm.  Exhibits include photos from B.F. Loomis who best documented the eruptions of Lassen Peak in the early 1900’s.

  • Historic Olsen Barn

    Lassen Feather River Loop Picture of Historic Olsen Barn

    photo by: Jan Davies

The Feather River Land Trust took on the task of purchasing 107 acres on the eastern edge of Chester.  The property is best known for its 130 plus year old barn, known as the Olsen Barn.  The property is also has significant ecological value particularly for birds. Several pairs of endangered Willow Flycatchers breed on the property and it has one of the highest densities of Yellow Warblers.  Osprey and Bald Eagles are often seen from the property.

There will be a guided bird walk on the Olsen Barn property from 7:30 am – 10:30 am the morning of May 29th, followed at 1:00 pm that afternoon a history walk of the barn itself. Historian Marilyn Quadrio will provide a historical perspective of the Olsen family and ranch.

A first time event is scheduled this summer Aug. 19th -21st by the Plumas Audubon Society.  The Grebe Festival will have birding, boating, hiking, art, culture, current research, beer stroll, movies and lots of free activities at this 3 day event.

  • Tours, Trails & Treasures

Take time to enjoy the self-guided historic walking tours in each communtiy.

Two great driving tours in the region are; Plumas County Barn Quilt Tour.  The Plumas County Barn Quilt tour is one of only three Barn Quilt Tours in California.  The Maidu Auto Tour, known as the World Maker’s Trail, is about 67 miles long and takes 2 hours to drive with many special spots to stop along the way.

Historical Markers in Plumas County, Lassen County,  and Tehama County.


If you have any questions on the area please call 530-258-3382 and we will be glad to help.  When in the area please consider staying with us at the St. Bernard Lodge.



Help Feather River Land Trust Save the Historic Olsen Barn

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

The Historic Olsen Barn has been an icon for many visiting Lake Almanor and Chester, California


Historic Olsen Barn

Historic Olsen Barn

History of the Olsen Barn

The Olsen barn  is the only remaining barn of three barns Peter Olsen built in the 1860’s.  Peter Olsen immigrated from Norway in the early 1840’s to New York.  Peter Olsen his way to the Oregon Territory, then onto Chester where be began cattle ranching in 1859.  He then then went into dairying as many of the local ranchers did.

The Olsen Barn is not only a historical icon, but also an architectural masterpiece of the time.  The barn  is built with massive hand-hewed timbers and held together with hand carved wooden pegs.  It has definitely stood the test of time.  This is one of the few barns left that have the craftsmanship of this early method of construction.

Significance of the Olsen Barn Property

The Olsen Barn sits on 107 acres of meadow, riparian  forest and wetland adjacent to Lake Almanor at the eastern edge of Chester, California.  The barn stand as a reminder of times past and welcomes you into Chester.

This property has a high ecological value, especially for birds.  The property is part of Audubon designated  Important Bird Area.  It supports the 2nd largest concentration of the endangered Willow Flycatcher in the Sierra Region. A breeding pair of Greater Sandhill Crane make it home, and many more during migration.  Over 200 species of birds have been recorded here.  The Olsen barn currently supports a breeding pair of Barn Owl. This is also a favorite spot for spotting Bald Eagles and Osprey.

The property is an important haven for wildlife habitat.  Also offers wonderful opportunities for nature based recreation activities and outdoor learning.

Cultural Value of the Olsen Barn Property

This property, along with the greater Chester Meadow, is of cultural significance to the Maidu people and is the last remaining piece of Big Meadow that supported a high density of Madiu’s prior to western colonization of the area.  The barn itself is a treasured landmark of the town of Chester.  The barn is one of the few remaining structures dating back to the original settlers of Chester.

Feather River Land Trust Works to Save the Olsen Barn

Feather River Land Trust has taken on the task of saving the Olsen Barn and the 107 acres it sits on.

Earlier this year the Feather River Land Trust took on the task of raising funds to purchase the 107 acre piece of property on the edge of Chester.  One of the goals of the FRLT is to enhance the recreational opportunities  on this property.


Tour the Olsen Barn

How many times have you driven past the barn and wished to see the inside of the Olsen Barn?

If you have always wanted to see the inside of the Olsen Barn, there are two opportunities early this summer.

The first will be on June 27 from 11 a.m. to noon, as part of the FRLT membership appreciation day for present members and donors, or for those who wish to make a donation to the Olsen Barn campaign.”

To take part in the tour and picnic on June 27th please call 530-283-5758 or register online at  Pre-registration is required for the tour on June 27th.

June 27th is also Art Around the Lake, as part of the Art Around the Lake event both Sally Posner and Sally Yost will be ” Artisits in Action” at the Olsen Barn.

Art Around the Lake will be open 9 am – 4pm.  Tickets for the event are 10.00 dollars.  Please visit the website for Art Around the Lake for more information.

Another tour is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon on  July 5.   Pre- registration is not required for the July 5th tour.

Mark you calendars for at least one of these dates.  Take time to learn about the Olsen Barn, possibly see the Barn Owls that make their home in the barn. Learn first hand about what the Feather River Land Trust plans to  do with this property into the future.


Collins Family Matching Gift Campaign

Make a donation between May 24th and July 11, 2015 and the Collins Family  has generously offered to match up to $60,000  to support the conservation of the Olsen Barn Property.  Make your donation worth more and get your donation into the Feather River Land Trust before July 11th.

Special Offer From Jan Carmichael Davies

OLSEN BARN SPECIAL: Jan will be offering  special Olsen barn prints (appropriately overpriced, LoL) with all profits going to the Olsen Barn property acquisition fundraiser. The donation amount will DOUBLE with the Collins Family matching donation offer good through July 11. Visit Jan Davies Photography for more details. See frlt.orgfor more about this. Or Feather River Land Trust on Facebook.

Olsen Barn  by Jan Davies

Olsen Barn Chester, Ca


More Ways to Donate

Checks– make out to FRLT and mail to FRLT, P.O. Box 1826, Quincy, CA 95971 or take to Chester Plumas Bank.

Online– Go to FRLT’s donation page and under donation type choose Olsen Barn Campaign.

Stock or Mutual Fund donation– Call Karen at 530-283-5758. It’s easy to make a stock donation and it’s especially beneficial if you have appreciated stock.


Thank-you to all that have donated to FRLT.  They have raised the money to purchase the land.  Watch for updates as FRLT works on a management plan for the property.



Outdoor Educational Tours – Touring with the Sierra Institute

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

 Outdoor Educational Tours with the Sierra Institute

The Sierra Institute for Community and Environment is a non-profit organization based out of Taylorsville, Ca.  The Institute offers outdoor educational tours about forest and watershed management.

As part of the Sierra Institute’s goal of getting people outdoors to learn about sustainable forests, local resources, and the unique history and culture of the rural communities of the Lake Almanor Basin and Northern Sierra Nevada, the Institute offers several outdoor educational tours each year.

Make sure to bookmark the Sierra Institute’s web page as many of the tours change each year.  The website is full of testimonials from previous participants.

Tour guides are knowledgeable and friendly. Tasty snacks, meals and beverages are provided.  Cost of each tour is only $50.00 per person.

If you have a strong interest in attending one or all of the educational tours and the cost is stopping you, become a volunteer.

There’s a lot to do when you volunteer at the Sierra Institute!  As a Center of Forestry volunteer, you can learn about local history by volunteering to assist on a tour, or participate in community events sharing the word about Sierra Institute and the Center of Forestry Tours.

Please contact the Sierra Institute directly and let them know you are interested in volunteering for one or more of the Outdoor Educational Tours.  There are several different ways to help.

Recommend to bring  your camera for all the outdoor educational tours.   In the interest of the environment, we always encourage our participants to bring their refillable water bottles, which we can refill during the tour.  Good walking shoes and a hat are always a plus on all our tours! Thank you!


May 9 – Geology 101 of Northern Sierra Outdoor Educational Tour

Soda Rock on the Feather River

Soda Rock on the Feather River

In celebration of Lassen Feather River History Month, Sierra Institute’s Center of Forestry is offering an educational tour focused on the geology of the Northern Sierra Nevada, specifically the Feather River Canyon area.

Bridget Tracy, an environmental studies lecturer at Feather River College, will lead this tour down Highway 70 in the Feather River Canyon to view the unique geology of this area.

This tour meets at the Feather River College in Quincy at 9:00 am.  Forestry Building Room 40.

Various stops along the way to see the variety of rock formations, learn about historical values of these formations, and more.

You will explore the geologic evolution of the Northern Sierra Nevada/Southern Cascades over the past 300-million years and cover a wide range of topics from plate tectonics and basic rock types, to gold mineralization and gold recovery, along with river mechanics and water in California.

You’ll see examples of meta-sedimentary and meta-volcanic rock, and some fantastic and colorful rock formations created over millions of years through various geological forces. You’ll learn the difference between brittle and ductile deformations and see examples of both. You will visit the Melones Fault, which is considered mainly responsible for gold in California, and also see one of the last stamp mills in the Northern Sierra while learning a bit about California’s gold mining legacy.

Finally, on our way back we’ll detour to Highway 89 and stop at Soda Rock, also known as Ch’ichy’yam-bam to the Maidu.

Morning refreshments, lunch, and bus transportation are provided as part of the tour, which begins at 9:00am and concludes no later than 3:00pm. Cost is $50 per person.

Visit website at for more information on our tours, and on all our programs.

and on all our programs. To reserve your space, or receive information via email, please contact Camille Swezy at 530.284.1022, or email at

In addition to camera, and water if you have a rock pick or loop, please feel free to bring them.


May 30 – Stairway of Power Outdoor Educational Tour

Belden Power House on the Feather River

Belden Power House on the Feather River

The Water, Power, Fish, and Fire tour, one of the most popular outdoor educational  tours, discusses current issues and interests dealing with hydroelectric power and its relationship with fish populations, fire, and water in the Feather River Watershed.

The tour begins at 8:30 a.m. in Chester at the Collins Pine Museum, where participants will be introduced to the day’s events, tours guides, and enjoy morning refreshments.


Participants will then begin the journey down the “Stairway of Power.” The first stop will be at the Prattville intake on the southwest shore of Lake Almanor, where discussion will be centered on lake ecology, PG&E’s re-licensing process, the potential for a thermal curtain to be installed in the lake to lower the temperature of the North Fork of the Feather River.  Residents of the Lake Almanor Basin are very much against the installation of a thermal curtain in Lake Almanor.

The tour will follow the water down to Butt Valley Reservoir, where participants will discuss the ecological effects of dams on fisheries. The group continues to the Caribou and Belden Powerhouses.

After lunch near the Belden Powerhouse and  the  Old Grist Mill the tour will  head back through the 2012 Chips Fire burn area, discussing the effects of wildfire on the forest and riparian areas.

The tour will conclude around 4:00 p.m., returning participants to the Collins Museum in Chester.

The tour guides for the day will be Ken Roby, retired Fisheries Biologist with the U.S. Forest Service, and Mike Willhoit, retired PG&E manager of the DeSabla division, which covers Butte, Glen. The guide for the fire part of the tour has yet to be determined.

Space is limited, so call early to reserve your place. Morning refreshments, lunch, and transportation are provided as part of the tour, which begins at 8:30am and concludes before 5:00pm. Cost is $50 per person per tour.

Visit  website at for more information on our tours, and on all our programs.

To reserve your space, or receive information via email, please contact Camille Swezy at 530.284.1022, or email at

History Tours & Treasures – Lassen Volcanic National Park

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

MAY 2015

May History Month

Lassen-Feather River History Month


Lassen Volcanic National Park and communities in Lassen and Plumas County that surround the Park and the Lake Almanor Basin are working together to bring you a full month of special history related activities.

Between visiting the local museums and special programs planned during the month there is always time to just sit back and enjoy to tranquility and beauty of the mountains.

Take in a hike or two on one of great hiking trails in the area.  Lassen Park has over 150 miles of hiking trails within park boundaries.  Lake Almanor has a wonderful 12 mile paved recreation trail along the west side of Lake Almanor.  There are many other trails available in both the Lassen and Plumas National Forest and the Bizz Johnson Trail between Westwood and Susanville.

 History Month Begins May 8th in Westwood

Westwood Museuem

Visit the Westwood Museum

The History Month activities kick off in the community of Westwood on May 8th with an Italian dinner at the Calvary Chapel at 6 pm.  Proceeds will help benefit the Westwood Museum.  Marilyn Quadrio will give a presentation on the History of Red River Company and the building of the Lake Almanor Dam completed in 1914.  Cost for dinner and presentation is $12.00.

Grand Opening of the Westwood Museum for the summer season will be May 9th from 11 am – 4pm.  Entrance will be free for the day.

May 16 & 17th Greenville and Indian Valley History of the 1940’s

Cy-Hall Memorial Museum in Greenville

Cy-Hall Memorial Museum in Greenville


The weekend of May 16th and 17th Greenville will be featuring Indian Valley history during the 1940’s.  Local residents who lived in the area in the 1940’s will be giving 1st hand stories of events, including history from the Maidu perspective.


Greenville and Indian Valley will also have their famous Valley wide yard sale bonanza which has been a local favorite for over 25 years.  Usually there are over 30 individual locations participating, with special treasures to be found.

 Barn Quilt Tour of Plumas County

8 Original Barn Quilts of Plumas County

8 Original Barn Quilts of Plumas County by Nansi Lillian Bohne


While driving between locations take time to view the wildflowers in the meadows and the beautiful Barn Quilts located on many of the Barns in the area.  Local merchants will gladly share the locations of their favorite Barn Quilt with you.

Map of Quincy Barn Quilts



Peter Lassen Marker

Ca State Historic Marker No. 184



Look for the historic marker of Peter Lassen’s 1850 Trading Post.  It is State Landmark No. 184 and is located on the North side of North Valley Road about 4 ½ miles from downtown Greenville.

More history on Plumas County.



Young’s Market is inside a two story brick building on the corner of Main and Nelson Streets in Taylorsville. It is ell worth a stop just to see the working 100 + year old cash register.  The store also makes great sandwiches that you can enjoy on site or take with you for a picnic.

 History of the Eruptions of Lassen

May 22, 1915 Eruption of Lassen Peak

Lassen Eruption seen from Red Bluff, California


May 22, 1915, was the explosive eruption of Lassen Peak.  This eruption devasted nearby areas (much of the devastation can still be seen in the park 100 years later) and rained volcanic ash as far away as 200 miles to the east.  More photos of the eruptions of 1914 and 1915.

Honoring this event 100 years later Lassen Volcanic National Park has scheduled several special presentations by the USGS and park staff starting on May 20th and continuing through May 25th.

May 22 and 23rd there will be a special evening program 9:30 – 11 pm of Night Sky Viewing  from the Devasted Area led by park rangers.  Our National Parks are one of the last places to enjoy the night skies without interference of light pollution

Please visit the Lassen Park website for specific details of all the special events planned both at the south and north entrance of the park as well as at the Devasted Area for Memorial Weekend.

Other Memorial Weekend Events in Chester and Greenville

The Rotary Club of Chester will be hosting their Annual Memorial Weekend Craft Fair at the Chester Park, next to the Feather River.

Indian Valley will be hosting the Indian Valley Century Bike Ride on the 23rd of May.  The ride begins at the Greenville High School and has 3 different lengths for you to choose from.

Memorial Weekend is always a busy time in the Lake Almanor Basin. Make your lodging reservations early. Bikes, Kayaks, Paddle Boards, Jet Skis and speed boats are all available to rent either in Chester or on Lake Almanor beginning Memorial Weekend.

 May 29th -31st History of the Early Days of Chester and Big Meadows

Chester in the early days

Chester in the early days


May 29th – 31st Chester has a full weekend of events planned for your enjoyment starting Friday night with a presentation on Chester and its Pioneer families with a special collection of photographs of the people and places in the early years of Chester.  This presentation will be given by the local historian and author of Big Meadows and Lake Almanor, Marilyn Quadrio.

Saturday morning Lassen Park staff will visit Chester with a special kid friendly presentation about Volcanoes.  You will learn about the different types of Volcanoes and where to find each type in Lassen Park.

Saturday afternoon take a self guided tour of Collins Nature Walk.  Visit Collins Museum for an overview of the Collins Family Lumber operation from 1855 to present day.  Terry Collins will be giving the presentation personally.


Olsen Barn

Olsen Barn

Old Town Chester will be hosting a Beer Stroll with proceeds to help Save the Olsen Barn on Saturday from 4-7 pm.  This is a great time to visit the one of kind stores in Old Town, visit the Olsen Barn, and taste some great beer.

Feather River Land Trust is in the process of purchasing 107 acres on the eastern edge of Chester.  With the purchase of this land the Land Trust will be able to save the iconic Olsen Barn, built by Peter Olsen, in the 1860’s.

Prints available for purchase. 

The Feather River Land Trust has met the first deadline of raising 65,000 by April 10th.  They will still need to raise another 781,000 by Sept 26th to complete the deal.    To make donations please visit the website for the Feather River Land Trust at:

Marilyn Quadrio will be giving a second presentation of the History of Chester’s Pioneer Families at the Memorial Hall Saturday afternoon at the Memorial Hall from 4 – 5 pm.

On Sunday come visit the St. Bernard Lodge and tour the Park Forty Interpretive Trail jut off the PCT.  Terry Collins will give guided tours of the trail between 1-2 pm.  Shuttles will be available between 12:45 and 2:30 from the St. Bernard Lodge and the Park 40 Trailhead.  Parking is very limited at the trailhead.

If you would like lunch or dinner at the St. Bernard Lodge please make reservations one day in advance.  The St. Bernard Lodge is also a great place to spend the weekend.

 Visit the St. Bernard Lodge for early history of the lodge

St. Bernard Lodge Then

St. Bernard Lodge Then



St. Bernard Lodge Now

St. Bernard Lodge Now







For more information on any of the events please give us a call  at 530-258-3382.  We will be glad to help you plan your visit to Lassen Park and the Lake Almanor Basin.

More details on each of these events can also be found on the Mountain Affairs website.

May, will be a very special month this year in the Lake Almanor Basin and Lassen Volcanic National Park.  Our mountain communities are looking forward to having you visit and learn about the local history.


Bike Rides near St. Bernard Lodge 2015

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Bike Rides in Northern California – Lassen Park, Plumas and Lassen County


Lassen Park offers vehicle free day to ride Hwy 89 through Lassen Park




This will be the third year that Lassen Park will open the road to cyclists first.  This gives you the opportunity to enjoy the main road through Lassen Park without motorized vehicles.  Please watch the park website for updates as to when this will be.  Most likely it will be just before  or on Memorial Weekend.  The exact date depends on snow conditions and when the road crews have the road cleared.  Park website.

Comment from previous rider:

In 2014, the Park began an annual program where they opened the road to bikes and walkers only for one three-day weekend.  It is, to put it mildly, a dream ride.   The date is determined by the snow level, so you just have to watch the Lassen website/Facebook page and be ready to go with 2 weeks notice.  In 2014 the Park closed the road to cars for one day in the fall, again known only to people who had friended the Park Facebook page.  It’s totally worth the effort to arrange your riding to fall on these dates—having no cars on the road makes an already splendid ride simply sublime.   I’m told that the Park Service takes much heat from angry motorists about the closures, so, if you want the closures to continue, go to the Lassen website or Facebook page and add a comment telling them they’re a swell idea and you’re grateful as hell.   Full post.


 Indian Valley Century Ride

May 23, 2915  Start time 7:00 am

Indian Valley Century Bike RidePhoto courtesy of TripAdvisor

This bike ride through Indian Valley offers you a choice of 3 different ride lengths.  All the rides take in the beauty of the Indian Valley Ranch and pasture lands.  As you ride look for some of the great barn quilt patterns on many of the old barns.

First ride is a leisurely 30 miles to Taylorsville and back to Greenville.  This ride is fairly flat.  Make sure to take a few minutes to visit Young’s Market.  Inside the market is a wonderful 100 year old cash register.

Metric Ride goes from Greenville to Genesse and back.  Lunch stop in Genesse before heading back to Greenville.

100 mile ride goes from Greenville to Antelope Lake and back to Genesse for lunch before returning to Greenville.

For more information on the rides and registration form.


Lost and Found Bike Ride

May 30th  Start time 8:30 am


Lost and Found Bike RideThis is a unique bike ride with a blend of pavement, dirt road, gravel road and historic railroad grade.  Net proceeds benefit Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship.


The ride offers 3 options; 100 miles with 7,000′ elevation gain, 60 miles with a 4,000′ elevation gain and 30 miles with a 2,000′ elevation gain.  There are 8 theme based aid stations along the route.  Post ride BBQ and cold beers from the Brewing Liar.

Ride descriptions, rules and registration information .

33rd Annual Mile High 100 Ride Chester/Lake Almanor

June 20th  Registration  6-9 pm Friday June 19th, 6-9 am June 20th at Chester Park or online.


This ride also has the option of 3 different lengths to choose from

1.  The Century Ride ( 3,200′ elevation climb) .  The ride starts at Chester Park, and heads out to Warner Valley and the Lee Ranch, then around the west side of Lake Almanor, heading south to Greenville and the Indian Valley Arm to Tayorsville and back up the east side of Lake Almanor into Chester.  As on the Indian Valley ride make sure to look for Barn Quilts along the route.

2.  The Half Metric Bike Ride ( 600′ elevation climb) Ride starts at Chester Park and circles around Lake Almanor.  Make sure to take time to take in the various views of Lassen Peak along the route.

3.  Metric Century Bike Ride ( 1,500′ elevation climb).  Again starts at Chester Park out to Lee Ranch and around Lake Almanor.

For maps and details of the ride.

Bizz Johnson Rails to Trails Fall Bike Ride

Exact Date still to be determined this event has been held in October previous years.


Bizz Johnson Fall Bike RideThe Bizz Johnson Trail in the fall offers some spectacular  fall colors  as you ride along the Susan River. Due to the remarkable autumn colors the Bizz Johnson Trail was featured on Rails to Trails Conservancy 1997 ” Fall Foliage on the web” rails to trails guide .

The bike ride, mostly downhill on a smooth and wide gravel trail, is ideal for  the whole family. Mountain bikes or wide-tired bikes are recommended. Riders should bring helmets, clothing layers for changing conditions, food and water.  By starting in Westwood at 5,100′ you have a slight climb to 5,500′ at Westwood Junction and then slowly drop 1,300′ to elevation of 4,200 feet in Susanville.  The trail crosses the Susan River 12 times on bridges and trestles and goes through two tunnels.

The Lassen Rural Bus weekend service will take bike riders from the historic Susanville Railroad Depot, 602 Richmond Rd., to trail drop off points at Devil’s Corral, Fredonyer Summit and Westwood, where riders can connect to the trail for 7, 18 and 30-mile rides back to Susanville. The Bureau of Land Management will shuttle bicycles from Susanville to the drop points.

Riders should meet at the Depot at 8:00a.m. to sign-in and load bikes on the shuttle.

Participants can register by calling the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office, (530) 257-0456.  Watch for updates and register early, BLM has room to shuttle only 44 riders and bikes.

The trail is managed jointly by the BLM and the Lassen National Forest with support from the non-profit Lassen Land and Trails Trust.  Map of trail.

Fall Leaf Peeper Bike Ride

Oct. 3, 2015

This bike ride is held by the Indian Valley Chamber and follows the same routes as their spring bike ride.  During the fall ride you have the added beauty of the awesome fall colors of the area.  Please visit the Chamber website  for details.

General Biking Information

Bodfish Bicyles on the Main in Chester is a great place if you need personal information on bike routes in the Lake Almanor Basin or need repairs to your bicycle.  Their website has several great maps of different routes to choose from in the area.

St. Bernard Lodge happens to be located right on the route for the  Sierra Cascade Bicycle Tour.  The lodge is approximately half -way through the trip. ( Section 3 of the maps) Splurge spend the night with us have a great dinner and breakfast before heading out the next day.  The lodge is 15.2 miles from the intersection of Hwy. 89/36 at the south entrance of Lassen Park.

Video of the Sierra Cascade Bicycle Tour

Please give us a call if you need any help in planning a trip to the area for one of the scheduled bike rides or to visit at another time.





Snow Goose Festival – Chico California

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

 Snow Goose Festival

The 16th Annual .Snow Gooses Festival is organized by Altacal Audubon Society.  This year there will be over 60 field trips,and workshops along with an art show.  The workshops and field trips are varied youth, beginner birders and experience birders will all find several field trips and or workshops suited to their interest and experience level.

Dates:  Jan. 21st – Jan. 25th

Pacific Flyway

photo by Steve McDonald

photo by Steve McDonald


The Snow Goose Festival is situated in one of the greatest migratory pathways in the entire world, the Pacific Flyway.  This flyway stretches from the Bering Strait on the coast of Alaska to the steeps at Patagonia in South America.

The Northern Sacramento Valley has some of the most accessible viewing areas on this migratory pathway.  Tens of Thousands Snow Geese choose to winter in the Sacramento Valley.  Close to one and half million use the Pacific Flyway.


The Snow Goose Festival is an annual event held in Chico, Ca each winter.  This year the event will run from Jan. 21 through Sunday, Jan. 25th.  The mission of the festival is to celebrate the Snow Geese and to increase public awareness, understanding, appreciation and the conservation of the incredible wildlife and related habitats of the Northern Sacramento Valley.


Photo by Steve McDonald

Photo by Steve McDonald

Online registration is available until Wed. Jan. 21st.  Please visit  the Snow Goose Festival website to check for open field trips.  A few of the trips still open are; Marathon Big Birding Day in Colusa County, Marathon Big Birding Day in Butte County, Bidwell’s Yah Trail, Winter Raptors on the Sacramento Refuge Fly-off to name a few.

Another open field trip that is not entirely focused on birding is the Birds and Rice Growers tour which is on Friday.  The tour will include the rice drying operations at the plant in Richvale.

Special field trips to areas that are not always open to the general public include; Rancho Esquon,  and Dye Creek Preserve.

Rancho Esquon is a working ranch and it is common to see Sandhill Cranes during the winter months on the ranch.  Dye Creek Preserve is in Eastern Tehama County.  Lewis’s Woodpecker, Acorn Woodpecker, Oak Titmouse, California Quail, Ferruginous Hawk, Bald and Golden Eagle are all common.

The bird carving, Gardens as Habitat, and photography workshops are still open.  You do not have to be a “birder” to enjoy these workshops.

Field trips and workshops range in prices from 8 dollars to 45 dollars.

Youth Oriented Programs

kids snow goose 2

Special Youth Programs



On Sat. and Sunday several workshops are designed especially for youth at the Chico Masonic Family Center.  Smokey the Bear and the Blue Goose will be making an appearance.  Children can earn a Junior Ranger Badge and a Junior Naturalist Certificate.



Steve Zachery from Lassen Volcanic National Park with  be leading a workshop on Sunday 11:00 am – 12:30 pm which will teach children how to identify the four major types of volcanoes.  If you have not visited Lassen Park it is worth adding to your list of National Parks to visit.  Lassen Park is the only National Park in the U.S. that has all four types of volcanoes within park boundaries.

Lassen Park is home to 216 species of birds.  The park is part of several monitoring programs and a bird banding station.  Bird list for Lassen Park.


  Art Show

snow goose art

Art Show


Fifty-five artists have submitted work to be on display at the Avenue 9 Gallery at 180 E. Ninth and The Esplande.  Artwork will be on display from Jan. 16th- February 7th.  There will be a free reception on Jan. 23rd from 5- 8 pm.

List of artists displaying their work.



If you have a few extra days in the area, plan a stay at the St. Bernard Lodge.  St. Bernard Lodge is about one hour north of Chico and 20 minutes from the SW entrance of Lassen Park.  St. Bernard Lodge is also about 40 minutes from the Bizz Johnson Trail which is a California Watchable Wildlife Viewing Area.  Bizz Johnson Trail is home to 100 bird species.

Winter Sports in Lassen Volcanic National Park

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Lassen Park – Great Place for Winter Sports and Snow Play


Winter Visitor Center


Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center will remain open this winter at Lassen Park.  The visitor center is a great place to relax and warm-up after a day of playing in the snow.

Days:  Wed. through Thurs. until March 31, 2015                            Hours: 9 am – 5 pm


New this year the Lassen Cafe & Gifts will be open selected dates from 9 am – 4 pm on the following specific dates:   Dec. 26th – Dec. 31st.; Jan. 1st – 4th; Jan. 17th – 19th for the  Winter Film Festival and Free entrance to Lassen Park on Jan.  19th.  Also for President’s weekend on Feb. 14- Feb. 16th.  Lassen Park will be offering free park entrance for President’s Weekend also.

Learn to Snowshoe for 1.00

Snow sports: snowshoeing

Ranger-led Snowshoe Walks will begin in January on Saturday Jan. 3 and will continue through April 5th, 2015.  The walks are held on  Saturday and Sundays,  from 1:30  to approximately 3:30 pm.

Meet at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center.

If you have never snowshoed before, Ranger-led snowshoe walks are an excellent way to learn or practice snowshoeing techniques and explore Lassen in its winter form.

Route and distance varies depending on group ability and fitness. At the beginning of each snowshoe walk, a ranger will demonstrate how to put on snowshoes and how to move around. Once the basic techniques are covered, the group heads out into the snow and the adventure begins!

Snowshoes are provided, a $1 donation is requested to cover maintenance costs. Reservations are required for organized groups, but not for families or individuals. Walks are open to those eight years of age and older; children in carriers are not allowed due to safety concerns.

The park is adding new Spanish speaking and English Snowshoe Programs on Saturday, February 10, February 21, March 3, and March 21, 2015.

These new Spanish Snowshoe Programs  also meet at the visitor center and run from 10 am to 12 noon approximately.

These walks will most likely follow the snow-covered park highway from the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center to the Sulphur Works hydrothermal area. The route is about two miles round-trip and is appropriate for first-time snowshoers.

For both of these Ranger led snowshoe walks plan on arriving a little early.  Size of the groups are limited to about 20 snowshoers.  This program has been growing in popularity each year.

XC Skiing at Lassen Park

Snow Sports: XC Lassen

Lassen park  is a wonderland for winter sports including; cross-country skiing and sledding.  The backcountry of Lassen Park offers unparalleled opportunities for some great cross-country, Telemark or Randonee skiing.

The 29 mile snow-covered main road of Lassen Park is a good place to start.  The road can be accessed from the Kohm-Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center on the south side of the park or the Loomis Museum on the north side of the park.

For the more adventurous there are a few marked backcountry wilderness winter skiing trails.  Park Trail Maps please scroll to page 7 for winter trail maps.

Sledding and Snowplay

If you just want to play with the kids in the snow, there are several sledding hills close to the parking area of the Kohm-Yah-mah-nee  Visitor Center.  The visitor center makes a great place to warm up after playing in the snow.

Winter Lodging When Visiting Lassen Park

If you need a place to spend the night please consider St. Bernard Lodge.  The winter months are a great time to bring school groups, youth groups ( boy scouts, girl scouts, campfire girl etc.)  The lodge offers special group rates.  Please call 530-258-3382 and we will be glad to help you plan your trip.

Lassen Park offers special Winter Ecology Programs for school and youth groups.  It is usually best to call the park directly to customize your programs to the needs of your group.  Lassen Park Education Specialist  can be reached at  530-595-6132 ext. 6142.


Lassen Volcanic National Park Proposal for 2015 Fee Increases

Friday, November 21st, 2014

What is a visit to a National Park Worth?


Boardwalks to view Bumpass Hell

 Per a memo put out by National Park Service Director, Jon Jarvis,  for the 1st time in 8 years the National Park Service will be allowed to raise entrance and amenity fees. Lassen Park has not had a entrance fee increase since 1998.  The proposed fees are a significant increase in many cases. 131 of the 401 public areas under the NPS are considering the fee increases. Please take time to learn about these proposed fees and let the National Park Service know how you feel. 

My take from the memo sent in August:

  1. The Park Service feels increase fees will allow for the park service to invest in improvements necessary to provide the best park experience to visitors.
  2. Goal to have all  National Parks  within a group at a standard rate by 2017. The National Park Units have been divided into 4 groups.
  3. Implementation and timeline of fee hikes may vary by Park.
  4. Each Regional Director must verify that there is general public support for proposed fee changes at each park.

National Parks  in the Pacific West Region have until Jan. to send in comments collected to the Regional Office.  The regional office will have until March 2, 2015 to send a report to Washington D.C.  Each park is conducting outreach to gather input. 

Lassen Volcanic National Park is taking comments until December 5th, 2014Please visit  Lassen Park website  to leave your comment.  You may check for timeline for comments at other National Parks by visiting their individual website.

Lassen park is also doing an outreach on November 22, 2014 in Chester, Ca at the Holiday Market from 10 am – 1 pm. Park Rangers will be available at an information booth.  Please stop by and ask any questions you may have.  

Lassen Volcanic National Park has prepared a  News Release for proposed fee increases. One hundred percent of the revenue derived from passes sold at federal recreation sites  directly benefit the selling agency and no less than 80 percent of the revenue will remain at the site where the pass was sold. Lassen Park anticipates with the full rate increase  additional revenue of  800,000 to stay at Lassen Park.

Repairs needed at Kings Creek Falls

Repairs needed at Kings Creek Falls

 Lassen park is looking at making the following improvements; Repair PCT, Warner Valley Campground rehabilitation, Children’s Exhibits for Visitor Center, Crags Campground Youth Camp,  Kings Creek Overlook Trail rehabilitation , Rehab of Bumpass Hell Trail, and Summit Lake Campground road re-paving.  As a visitor to Lassen Park if you feel that other improvements are needed please let the park know now.

Most of us agree that the National Parks are “the best idea America ever had.”  Unfortunately due in part to our political system, both in Congress and with differing visions in the Park Service our parks are in need of over 11.3 billion in maintenance backlog at the end of fiscal year 2013. 

What is it worth to you to make sure that our National Parks are maintained for future generations?  From surveys done in 2000 only 11% of people paying a daily or weekly entrance fee and 4 % for an annual or lifetime pass felt they paid too much for the experience they received during their visit.  Is a 100 to 150% fee increase too much though?

The National Park Service will be 100 years old in August of 2016.  The original intent of our National Park System was to; “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Previous generations had the vision to set aside tracts of land and set-up the National Park Service for us to enjoy today.  We need to have the vision to make sure future generations will be able to enjoy our National Parks.  

This is your opportunity to offer any ideas on rate structure,  fees, and maintenance needed  at any of the 131 National Park Service Units looking at rate increases.  Writing your Congress person encouraging them to responsibility fund the National Park System may help in protecting our parks into the future.            

Cutting your Christmas Tree in Northern California

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

 Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

Christmas tree cutting permits for personal use are now on sale at both the Plumas and the Lassen National Forest.  St. Bernard Lodge is close to both forests and both forests are great places to find your perfect Christmas tree this year.

Start or continue a family tradition of cutting your own Christmas Tree

Cut your own Christmas Tree

Permits are only 10 dollars and trees may be cut now until December 25, 2014. Make this a family or group outing. With purchase of a permit you will be given a map of the tree cutting areas and regulations.

Take the family out and find the perfect Christmas tree. With careful selection of your tree you not only get the best and freshest Christmas tree you will be improving the health of our forest with thinning.

Both the Lassen National Forest  and the Plumas National Forest have an abundance of Douglas Fir, California Red Fir and White Fir trees, which are all favorites for Christmas Trees.

To make your trip more memorable spend a night or two at the St. Bernard Lodge. Lassen National Forest is only a few minutes from the lodge. You may book a single room at the lodge or book the entire lodge for a group of up to 20 guests. We will cook and clean for you giving you the day to find your perfect Christmas tree and enjoy the outdoors.

After cutting your Christmas tree return to the lodge to warm up, relax, play a game of pool, or have a warm (or cold) drink at the bar. Need more action head into town for some very unique shopping choices or visit Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Tips on finding the perfect Christmas Tree

1. Measure – Before you leave home and go hunting for that “perfect tree,” you’ll need to decide where it will fit in your home. Once a spot is chosen be sure to measure both the ceiling height and the width of that space. Also, measure your tree stand to determine the maximum diameter of the tree trunk you can use in it. Finally, measure the height of your tree stand as well as the height of your treetop decoration. Use all these measurements to determine the perfect height and width of the Christmas tree you’ll select for your home.

2. Make sure to bring your tape measure – From personal experience the size of the tree can be very deceiving in the forest. You want to be a responsible Christmas tree harvester and not cut a tree that you will need to cut down once at home.

3. Things to pack- Heavy gloves to protect your hands, old blanket or tarp to protect your car and tree, twine or rope to securely tie your tree to the car, hand saw, snacks and water, clothing for possible snow conditions.

4. Make sure you have your permit- You may order via mail or purchase at one of the following locations. Make sure you know hours and days permits may be purchased.

Permits for Plumas National Forest

Quincy Area
Mt. Hough Ranger District
39696 Hwy. 70
3 miles north of Quincy
(530) 283-0555
8:00 am to 4:30 pm Mon-Friday
following a Thanksgiving closure and weekdays until December 23rd.

More locations for permits

Lassen National Forest

Maps, regulations and locations with permits for sale

Almanor Ranger District
900 East Hwy 36
P.O. Box 767
Chester 96020
8:00 am – 4:30 pm Mon-Friday
Special Days and hours: Saturdays: Nov 29, Dec 6 and 13 9 am – 3 pm Lassen Forest Headquarters
2550 Riverside Dr

Mineral Creek Work Center
38795 Highway 36 East
(530) 595-3311
Special Days and hours: Saturdays Nov 29, Dec 6 and 13 from 9 am -3 pm
No mail-in requests accepted Butte Meadows Work Center

7288 Humboldt Rd
Butte Meadows
(530) 258-2141
Special Days and hours: Friday, Nov 29 from 9:30 am-3:00 pm, Saturdays Nov 29, Dec 6 and 13 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm and Sundays Nov 30, Dec 7 and 14,
from 9:00 am – 3 pm
No mail-in requests accepted

Mail in form for Lassen National Forest  

Tips for taking care of your Christmas Tree

When you get home follow these tips for taking care of your tree.

Plan your trip

If you need any help in planning your trip please call St. Bernard Lodge at 530-258-3382.  Even if you are not staying with us, if we know a day in advance to can provide breakfast, lunch or dinner for your group visiting the area.