Our Favorite Ranger-Led Programs
December 13, 2017 by: Sharon Roberts
One of our favorite things about Lassen Volcanic National Park is the wide variety of ranger-led programs it offers it guests. The Rangers at Lassen are some of the best and most informed in the country and will go out of their way to make your trip as worthwhile was possible. No one knows the vast stretches of Lassen like these Rangers. They will take you to corners of the park you might not discover on your own and share stories and information you can’t find in any guide book. Guided tours are a fun, informative, and completely free way to explore the park in expert hands. Lassen offers programs for kids, adults, and everybody in between. Whether you come in the winter or summer, you will find many excellent guided tours to fit all interests and skill levels. Learn more about the programs offered year round.
Ranger-Led Snowshoe Walks
From January until April, Lassen’s Rangers take visitors through some of the best snowshoe trails in the park. Beginners and experts alike will find something to enjoy on this tour. This is a great way to learn proper snowshoeing technique, get a great workout, and explore the stunning snow-covered landscape of the park. The tours run from 1:30 to 3:30 on both Saturdays and Sundays. Meet at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center. Plan on arriving early to get your tickets for snowshoe walks. A $1 donation is requested for maintenance of their snowshoes. Snowshoes are provided, but make sure you bring lots of warm, water-resistant clothing. During the walk Rangers will share their knowledge of winter wildlife in the park and great safety tips for safely enjoying the park in the winter.
Public Bird Banding Demonstrations
Lassen is one of the most important parks on the West Coast for birding, birdwatching, and bird preservation. The park provides habitat for approximately 216 species of birds, including bald eagles, peregrine falcons, California spotted owls, Clark’s nutcracker, and more. Each year, Lassen’s natural resource team captures and bands migratory birds within the park. The birds are monitored throughout the year to ascertain their general population numbers and health. These birds use the park in summer to breed and forage and then fly on to Central and South America for the winter. During the summer months, you can attend public bird banding demonstrations and learn about the importance of birds to Lassen’s vibrant ecosystem.
For one of Lassen’s most spellbinding wonders, look up. Lassen offers unparalleled views of the starry night sky. Lassen is one of the last remaining places in the country where you can savor a completely dark, star-studded night sky. Because the park is located far from any major hubs of civilization, it is an unrivaled spot for clear stargazing. Lassen’s regular astronomy programs allow park guests to take a guided tour with an informed and passionate Park Ranger. You’ll learn about the stars, constellations, and planets and get tips on how to locate stars and objects in the night sky on your own. These programs take place at the Devastated Area every Wednesday and Bumpass Hell parking lot on select Saturdays. Visit the park's webpage for more information. In addition to the regular astronomy programs offered by the Rangers, Lassen Park holds a special Dark Sky festival in early August each year with special presentations by NASA scientists and other experts in the field.
And for the kids...The Junior Firefighter Program
In 2017, wildfires raged throughout the country. Perhaps now more than ever, it is important to educate children about fire prevention and fire safety. Lassen’s Junior Firefighter Program will teach your children how firefighters for the US Forest Service and National Park Service manage fire. You’ll learn more their engines, gear, and the important role that fires plays in the ecosystems of our national parks. The program is 45 minutes long and participants who complete the program will earn a Junior Firefighter patch.
Planning a trip to Lassen Volcanic Park? Book a stay at the St. Bernard Lodge, a beautiful and welcoming bed & breakfast located within minutes of the park.