Susanville ~ Lassen Volcanic National Park
Delightfully rural, Lassen County encompasses forested plateaus, mountains, lakes, rivers, volcanic landscapes and vast agricultural valleys. Situated in scenic northeastern California, the region is bordered by Modoc County to the north, Shasta County to the west, Plumas County to the south and the state of Nevada to the east.
Like much of California, Lassen County blossomed after the 1848 discovery of gold, which sparked westward migration. Seeking an alternate route from Donner Pass, Peter Lassen was the first to explore the area now known as Lassen County. In 1851, settlers followed a route from the Humboldt River (in Nevada) to Shasta City at the northern end of the Sacramento Valley.
The population hovers around 35,000, with almost half of those people living in the county’s main town, historic Susanville. Located where Highways 139 and 36 meet, Susanville lies next to the Susan River and at the foot of the Sierra Nevada range. The town was established as a trading post in 1854, and was named after the daughter of Isaac Roop, one of the early settlers in the area. In fact, its previous name was Rooptown. The Lassen Historical Museum in Susanville showcases the rich history of the area with displays of logging equipment, a fort built by Roop in 1854 and many pictures dating back to the mid-1850s.
A little smaller than Connecticut, Lassen County has four distinct seasons. Summers are usually hot and dry, although it does tend to get cool or even cold at night. During winter the mercury rarely falls below zero, but frequently dips below freezing. The average annual snowfall at the Susanville airport is about 33 inches.
Things to Do
Home to Lassen National Forest, Lassen Volcanic National Park, the Bizz Johnson Trail, the Honey Lake Wildlife Area and Eagle Lake, Lassen County is a big draw for nature lovers. Eagle Lake, about 17 miles northwest of Susanville, is the second-largest natural lake in California. It is well known for its trophy Eagle Lake trout, a variety of rainbow trout that can weigh in at 10 pounds or more. In addition to fishing, Eagle Lake offers camping, boating, bicycling, picnicking and birding. It has a significant bald eagle population, and osprey and waterfowl also frequent the lake.