Lassen National Park

A Weekend in Volcano Country

(page 3 of 3)

Campfire at Drakesbad Guest Ranch
Campfire at Drakesbad Guest Ranch

Image courtesy of Drakesbad Guest Ranch

A CRUISE SHIP EXPERIENCE IN THE FOREST

Hidden in Warner Valley at the southern edge of Lassen, we stayed at Drakesbad Guest Ranch. Like the rest of Lassen, our experience here was unbelievable – as ranch host Pat Flack so aptly described, it’s an intimate cruise ship experience in the forest. Only 19 rustic and quaint accommodations are available: lodge rooms, cabins and private bungalows overlooking a grassy meadow; all without electricity. Natural light serves fine during the day, while kerosene lamps help you navigate at night. (Note: There is electricity in the lodge’s common room.) But you will not exactly be “roughing it”; all lodgings are gas heated and offer a full or half bath. Guests are also treated to three hearty square meals in the dining hall – a mix of buffet and ready-to-order that’ll please both carnivores and vegetarians. Sack lunches can be prepared for hikers.

Stables at Drakesbad Guest Ranch
Stables at Drakesbad Guest Ranch

Image courtesy of Drakesbad Guest Ranch

Like the rest of the national park, many activities are available to guests of the retreat. The ranch’s swimming pool, fed by hot springs, is replenished every 12 hours without chemicals added. Non-swimmers can relax poolside for a 30-minute or one-hour massage. Guests can also sign up for horseback rides through Mule’s Ear meadows to nearby Devil’s Kitchen or Terminal Geyser (or opt to hike to King’s Creek Falls, Boiling Springs Lake and other destinations along the Pacific Crest Trail.) Guided fly-fishing lessons can be reserved for a fee. Kid-friendly activities include ping-pong, volleyball, badminton, archery and horseshoes. In the evening, patrons can read a book, play board games or hold conversations around the campfire or at the lodge’s fireplace.

The 2013 season at Drakesbad Guest Ranch reopens June 7 and closes on Columbus Day, October 14, weather permitting. Rooms are most easily secured from mid to late June and from mid-August through early October.


For Lassen Volcanic National Park fees and camping reservation rates, visit nps.gov/lavo. For more info on Drakesbad Guest Ranch, visit drakesbad.com.

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