Out in the backcountry, well away from the main road, the Butte Lake Campground (turn off Hwy. 44 toward Butte Lake/Lassen, 42 sites, May–Sept., $10) shows off the beauty of Lassen to its best advantage. Despite its remote location at the northeast corner of the park, you’ll find this to be a fairly well-developed campground, with pit toilets and running water. (Check with the park service to be sure water at this campground is drinkable.)<
Each site has a fire pit and table. Trailers and RVs up to 35 feet that can negotiate the road can camp at Butte Lake. To reach the campground, take Highway 44 up to the dirt road, then drive six miles to the campground. Reservations are recommended.
The Juniper Lake Campground (dirt road from Chester, 18 sites, June–Oct., $10) takes campers farther off the beaten path. Since the campground is located in the east side of Lassen National Park, at the end of a rough dirt road, you’ll do much better if you’re a tent camper rather than an RVer or trailer-tower.
This small campground beside beautiful Juniper Lake has pit toilets, fire pits, and tables, but the water here isn’t drinkable. Either bring purifying agents or your own drinking water in containers. Because it sits at almost 7,000 feet, definitely take it easy during your first day at Juniper Lake. Reservations are recommended.
If you’re bringing your horses on vacation with you, you can reserve a space at the Juniper Lake Corral ($4/animal).
Warner Valley (one mile off Warner Valley Rd., 18 sites, June–Oct., $12) lies along the south edge of the park. Another smaller gem of a semi-developed campground, Warner Valley has pit toilets and drinking water, as well as tables and fire pits at each site. No trailers, please! Though the dirt road is only a mile long, it’s too rough for large campers and RVs to navigate.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition