Steam engulfs a  hiker  at the hot springs of Lassen National Park, California; Photograph by Craig Lovell, Alamy

Steam engulfs a hiker at the hot springs of Lassen National Park, California; Photograph by Craig Lovell, Alamy

Scale exquisite, vertical rock in a wilderness setting.

What Is It? Lassen Volcanic National Park features a giant volcanic dome, hot springs, and a variety of secluded, high-country cliffs and outcrops that provide excellent climbing for all levels. Spend the weekend scaling cracks, arêtes, and crags that rival those of Yosemite. You’ll find that the high-altitude climbs of Lassen challenge not only your climbing ability but also your lungs. Don’t miss the classic Belly Button, the biggest crag in the park.

Why Do It? Rock climbers in northern California will be hard pressed to find a better climbing zone than Lassen Volcanic National Park near Redding. High-country climbing—some crags top out near 10,000 feet—means sweeping vistas, seclusion, and cool summer days. Lassen boasts enough sport routes, cracks, and walls to keep you busy for weeks. Once you’ve had enough rock, possibilities proliferate. The Lassen Peak Trail provides a rewarding option for climbers looking to do some scenic hiking, while active hydrothermals like Sulphur Works and Bumpass Hell are worth a visit.

Make It Happen: Learn more about Lassen National Park on this great website. Free camping is available in the adjacent Lassen Volcanic National Forest. Go guided with SWS Mountain Guides or DIY with Falcon Guide’s Rock Climbing Northwest California (Regional Rock Climbing Series) by Steven McKay.

See all the 
summer weekend adventures.

More: See America’s 100 Best Adventures and Long Weekends Like a Local

What’s your favorite summer weekend adventure in California?

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50 Best Summer Weekend Adventures: Great adventures are all around us—and summer is the ideal time to seek them. To give you some ideas and inspiration, every weekday we will be sharing a different U.S. summer weekend adventure, state-by-state from A to Z. We invite you to share your favorite summer weekend adventures in the comments section below when your favorite state is featured. Report back after the weekend to tell us about the outdoor adventures you had.