Drakesbad Guest Ranch, the only full-service lodging facility within Lassen Volcanic National Park, has been providing guests with a rustic experience for more than a century. In 1900, the Sifford family purchased the property, then called “Drake’s Hot Springs and Ranch", from Edward R. Drake. Alexander Sifford, a former schoolteacher from nearby Susanville, developed Drakesbad (“Drake’s baths”) into a resort with a bathhouse, meals, rooms, and a free campground. Sifford family members also acted as guides and brought visitors to Lassen Peak and Cinder Cone.
Guests can still partake in a restorative visit by enjoying the solitude and beauty of Warner Valley, one of two areas in the park that offer hikes to geothermal features. Visitors can see boiling mudpots and hissing fumaroles (steam vents) at Devils Kitchen, admire a milky-green, bubbling caldron at Boiling Springs Lake, and witness a billow of steam as a fumarole collides with a cool stream at Terminal Geyser. Drakesbad is the midway point on the Pacific Crest Trail.
After hiking, guests are welcome to a refreshing dip in Drakesbad’s swimming pool, supplied with temperature-controlled water from surrounding hot springs. The swimming pool is the only place in the park where people can safely bathe in naturally heated water. Visitors who reserve lunch or dinner at Drakesbad also have use of the swimming pool for the day; it is a favored place to soak away hiking soreness on starry nights.
All meals are included with room. Breakfast and lunch are served buffet style. A pre-determined dinner of hearty fare, complete with an appetizer and dessert, is offered each night. The manager is personable and checks in on diners, and assists with serving. On Wednesdays, Drakesbad hosts a barbeque for guests and visitors alike.