Terrace Shadow Lake Hike and Manzanita Lake Hike___02

Lunch at the Lakes

Hike to a trio of lakes in Lassen Volcanic National Park

Pack your own picnic and head for a lakeside lunch at Lassen Volcanic National Park. (Tip: you can pick up sandwiches at Lassen Volcanic National Park’s beautiful Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, a mile from the southwest entrance.) Then take your pick from a lovely trio of lakes accessed from the same trailhead.

Terrace, Shadow, and Cliff Lakes are located beneath Reading Peak in the park and are a photographer’s nirvana, offering crisp reflections and colorful nature—including some late summer wildflowers.

Access the trailhead from the highway turnout on the southern side of the park—it’s signed as Terrace Lake—and begin a 4-mile out-and-back hike (if you’re planning to see all three lakes). Starting at elevation, you descend quickly, with the trail forking soon after (it’s signed); head right toward Terrace Lake (0.5 mile) and then on to the shoreline of Shadow Lake (at the 0.8-mile mark; this makes a nice picnic spot because the large oasis has such clarity in the water’s reflection). You can continue all the way to Cliff Lake (at the 2-mile mark). Remember to conserve energy for the climb out.

Bonus Lake: Keep the lake theme going with a fourth lake! Drive about 30-minutes north, through the park, to popular Manzanita Lake, famous for its iconic lake reflection view of Mount Lassen. You have to hike halfway around the lake to see this magnificent view of nature mirroring itself. It's spectacular. The hike is an easy 1.8-mile loop.

Find great places to stay in Plumas County.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST: In episode "56. The Secluded Sierra" Weekend Sherpa co-founders discuss their explorations of Plumas County and Lassen Volcanic National Park.

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  4. Lunch at the Lakes

    Pack your own picnic and head for a lakeside lunch at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Then take your pick from a lovely trio of lakes accessed from the same trailhead. Follow it all up with a visit to Manzanita Lake on the other side of the park.