This trail leads around the perimeter of Juniper Lake, the largest and deepest water body in Lassen Volcanic National Park. The trail leads from the Juniper Lake Ranger Station to Juniper Lake Campground. This stretch of trail is almost four miles long. To make a loop hikers can use the Juniper Lake Road, two mile stretch, to return to the ranger station parking area. Swimming and hand-propelled boating are popular pursuits along the lake shore. There are no fish in Juniper Lake.
Hikers can begin this hike from either the campground or ranger station. This description begins from the trailhead parking area near the ranger station. From this parking area follow the dirt road northwestward to a few private cabins on the northern lakeshore. Beyond the cabins the trail narrows and turns southward to parallel the western bank of the lake.
The trail remains level and close to the shoreline for nearly a mile. It then turns slightly westward gaining elevation very slowly. The trail rounds the western shoreline and leads northward again for a half mile. Approximately two and a half miles from the trailhead this route turns sharply westward. In a few minutes the path splits with the right fork leading past Indian Lake to Horseshoe Lake. The left side of the fork continues around Juniper Lake.
Shortly beyond this fork the trail crosses the outlet stream of the lake and leaves the lakeshore. The trail makes a wide arc to the south. At the farthest point from the lake in this arc is a trail junction. Turning right at this junction will lead you to the Mount Harkness Trail. Continue left at this junction. In less than a half mile the trail reaches the southern shore of Juniper Lake. The next mile and a half leads hikers along the lake to Juniper Lake Campground.
From the campground you can follow the campground road eastward to Juniper Lake Road. Once on Juniper Lake Road it is a two mile walk to the ranger station. If you choose to retrace your steps it is four miles back to the ranger station.
Directions: From Chester, Drive eastward on Highway 36 to Chester Valley Road. Turn left on this road and travel one mile to Juniper Lake Road. Turn right on Juniper Lake Road and drive northward. The road turns to dirt 7.5 miles before reaching the campground. Pass the campground and continue northward 2 miles to the trailhead by the ranger station.
Elevation: 6,780 feet
Ending Elevation: 6,792 feet
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Lassen Volcanic National Park, California
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