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Your Fee Dollars At Work

Your Fee Dollars At Work

Maintaining and improving the Lassen Peak Trail with the Reach the Peak project

lassen volcanic national park Without entrance fees, park goers wouldn't be able to enjoy views like this one, on the Lassen Peak Trail.

Ever gone on an amazing hike and taken the time to appreciate the state of the actual trail beneath your feet? Maybe some stone steps or switchbacks to help you up a steep incline, a wooden bridge to cross a gap or stream—or just the simple maintenance of a clear trail and the care that goes into preserving the flora and fauna just a step away on either side of you? 

The ongoing Reach the Peak project is Lassen Volcanic National Park’s effort to restore and rehabilitate the Lassen Peak trail. The project is funded in part by entrance and campground fees collected in the park. These funds will be used to provide maintenance and repairs, public service programs, improve signage, and preserve the natural and historic resources along the trail. While these improvements enhance the visitor experience and accommodate the growing number of visitors to Lassen Volcanic National Park, the Reach the Peak project also works to maintain the character of the trail.

So far over the past two years, crews have quarried, washed and relocated 2.4 million lbs. of stone to the parking area and completed the largest helicopter flight operation in park history to strategically place stone building materials along the trail. They’ve begun restoring the largest step section of the trail and have constructed five stone walls. They’ve also produced new wayside exhibits, Loomis Museum and Visitor Center exhibits, a parking plaza and restrooms, enhanced the park website, rehabilitated disturbed areas, re-opened Butte Lake campground, bear-proofed food lockers in the campgrounds and more. 

They’re also in the process of constructing 20 switchbacks, 40 more rock steps, one climbing turn and 900 linear feet of rock retaining walls. In the future, the fee program will assist in implementing night lighting at the Summit Lake campground. 

The Lassen Peak Trail takes hikers up one of the largest plug dome volcanoes in the world. Remember that during Lassen Peak restoration days, off-trail access to the peak may be restricted and the trail, or parts of the trail, may be restricted as well on certain days. Check often for updates. 

*Practice trail etiquette, take safety precautions—especially when hiking in snow as it doesn’t always melt away from Mt. Lassen until early summer.