In mid-July I took the kids on a solo mission to Lassen Volcanic National Park. Given we live in the Bay Area, our usual outdoor excursions are directed toward Tahoe or Yosemite. This trip, I specifically wanted to explore farther north. What we found did not disappoint. Lassen was less crowded, more pristine, more accessible, and more peaceful than more popular destinations. The park is about 50 miles west of Redding, and it takes about an hour to drive from end-to-end. I would describe it as a mini-alpine version of Yellowstone, with similar geothermal features and devastated areas. Wildflowers were prolific. Maybe they should consider naming it Wildflower National Park - it might attract more visitors!
We stayed just outside of the park in a cabin at the Shingletown KOA, and drove into the park for day hikes. For families, I would recommend the Loomis Museum/Visitor Center and Jr. Ranger Program, Summit Lake for a dip, Kings Creek for a meadow walk, and Bumpass Hell for a moderate hike to the central features of the park.