Lassen Volcanic Cinder Cone Loop

Sacramento, CA

Trip Highlights

  • Volcanic Landscapes
  • Climb a Cinder Cone
  • Mountain Lakes
  • Thermal Features
  • Iconic Views
  • Mountain Solitude


Lassen Volcanic National Park is at the northern tip of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the southern terminal of the Cascade mountain range in Northern California.  Home to the largest plug dome volcano on earth, Lassen Peak, the Park is filled with meadows and lakes, boiling mud pots, fumaroles and hot springs.  Join Wildland Trekking for a 4 day backpacking tour as we loop past 5 beautiful mountain lakes and climb an amazing cinder cone. Soak up incredible views and a diversity of scenery as we traverse a volcanic wonderland, and truly get to know what makes Mount Lassen so unique. This charming national park is not to be missed and a welcomed escape from the crowds of the larger national parks in California and beyond.

4 Days
$1350 Per Person
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-10 Guests
Trip Length: 4 Days
Distance: 24MI / 39KM


Our difficulty ratings are based on a scale of 1-5, tours with a rating of 1 being least difficult, tours with a rating of 5 being most difficult

Backpack Weight:
25-35 pounds
Daily Hiking Distances:
4-8 miles
Most Elevation Loss:
1250 feet
Most Elevation Gain:
1277 feet
Quality of Trails:
Maintained but sandy and rugged in places
This trip follows maintained trails most of the time, with some sandy and/or volcanic sections that feel quite strenuous and rugged.

Participants should:

  1. be active and healthy
  2. exercise several times per week
  3. be comfortable hiking 6-8 miles per day in hilly or mountainous terrain with a 25-pound backpack


1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Mount Lassen backpacking trip a solitude 3. You can expect hours of solitude at a time.

Sacramento International Airport is one of the most easily accessed destinations in the country. Many major cities in the United States and internationally offer direct flights into Sacramento. We recommend staying in a hotel near the airport.

Traveling in perfect company is a wonderful thing! With our private trip offerings you can book a trip exclusively for your group. Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, private trips are a fun and enriching way to explore the outdoors.

Private trip pricing is based on a sliding scale, depending on the number of people in your party. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax and national park fees (where applicable) or guide gratuity. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE to get the ball rolling!


  • 2 People: Rate x 2
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.3
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.1
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1

*all rates are per person

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Day 1

  • Shuttle: 3 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 5.1 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 735 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 815 feet

After an early wake up and quick breakfast in Sacramento we will hop in the Wildland truck and head to Lassen Volcanic National Park. Our backpacking trip begins at the Summit Lake Trailhead and climbs steadily out of the pine forest toward beautiful Echo Lake. From the lake we will take a quick break and enjoy the immense view of Lassen Peak. The next 2 miles descend past old lava flows and take us to a moderate traverse past Upper and Lower Twin Lakes, two more wonderful bodies of water. Our last mile is relatively flat and rewards us with our camp at beautiful Rainbow Lake.

Day 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 6.9 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1277 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 1250 feet

For many guests today is a major highlight of the trip as we climb to the top of Cinder Cone, a massive Cinder Cone volcano that formed over 2 giant eruptions in the late 1600’s. After a hearty camp breakfast, we descend toward the Painted Dunes, a reddish pink ancient lava flow, where the trek through volcanic ash is tedious but well worth the ascent up the 750 ft tall cone. The view from the top offers 360-degree views of Lassen Peak, Broke-off mountain and the Chaos Crags, and offers a fantastic lunch spot. After a nice rest and great picnic lunch we head one more mile to Snag Lake, our camp for the evening.

Day 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 4 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 700 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 230 feet

Today’s trek begins along the shores of Snag Lake and then takes us uphill along majestic Grassy Creek. The view of Lassen Peak in the foreground is always a welcomed landmark as we make our way to camp at Horseshoe Lake. Our shorter day today allows for a leisurely afternoon and chance to soak up our surroundings. Guests can take a dip in the lake,  hike up one of the surrounding peaks, or just relax and read a book. In the evening we will enjoy a last dinner together along the lakeshore.

Day 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 7.72 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1100 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 909 feet
  • Shuttle: 2.5 hours

Our last day begins with a short climb and then a long descent along Grassy Swale into Coral Meadow. We will trek past Crater Butte and Pilot Mountain as we follow the famous Pacific Crest Trail toward our trailhead. The last 2.5 miles involves a fairly steep climb along Spring Creek as we make our way back to Summit Lake Trailhead. Your guide will prepare a last lunch and we will all caravan back to the hotel in Sacramento for the conclusion of our trip. What an adventure it’s been!

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.

Trip Dates & Booking


Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book


This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast


This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation


This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, backcountry sleeping pad and multi-day backpack
  • High quality, synthetic sleeping bag (professionally laundered after every use) – or bring your own.
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified California hiking guide
  • Transportation to the trailhead originating from Sacramento, CA
  • Bear canisters for food storage
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

Meals: What to Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware synthetic-fill sleeping bags (or bring your own)
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Bear cannisters
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

What Gear to Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Additionally, some guests choose to bring their own sleeping bag. We supply high quality, synthetic fill bags that are professionally laundered after every trip. Synthetic fill is non-allergenic, insulates when damp and stands up well to repeated washings, but is heavier and bulkier than down. If you’re able to bring your own down sleeping bag, there are multiple benefits. If not, we’ve got you covered!

What Clothes to Bring

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with detailed guidance about what clothes to pack (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and our recommended clothing system. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

How Do I Register?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

Where Do We Meet?

This trip originates in Sacramento, California with an orientation meeting the evening before the trip begins at the Hampton Inn & Suites Sacramento-Airport-Natomas. We recommend staying at this hotel, as we will depart directly from here on the morning of Day 1 and return to this hotel on Day 5. Your guide will be in contact approximately 10 days before the trip start date to coordinate the pre-trip orientation.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day’s departure time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 6 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at this hotel on the final day normally before 7 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time).

Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We’ve developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.

Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this backpacking trip is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 12 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we’ll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)

Weather on Mount Lassen

Being a high mountain environment, Mount Lassen is prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. This is an exciting aspect of being in the mountains. On trips in June, snow is a possibility, and the rest of the summer rain is always a possibility on your trip. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures:
Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)


Month Low Hi
June 79° 34°
July 84° 40°
August 85° 40°
September 78° 36°
October 69° 30°



Backcountry Sleeping


Sleeping on backpacking trips is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and synthetic-fill sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

Backcountry Cuisine


Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.

Amazing Campsites


Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

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