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Susanville and North - Lassen National Forest

Susan Helene Kramer

The terrain becomes dry and rocky once you head north from Lake Tahoe on the eastern side of the Sierras through Carson City, Nevada. To go back into northeastern California, drive north-west and head north on Rt. 395 until you reach Susanville, which is a high desert town at the elevation of about 4,186 feet. 


Take time to regroup - eat a meal and refuel your car. Be sure to restock your ice chest with food and water to drink for at least a day. And carry extra water for your car.


After driving north-west through Susanville take Rt. 44 north and change to Rt. 44-89 going north at the town of Old Station. Next follow Rt. 89 north all the way to Rt. 5. At this junction you can easily see Mt. Shasta to the east.


The town of Mt. Shasta is right off Rt. 5 with access to wind your way up the dormant volcano if that is your destination. It took me several hours to leisurely drive the 240 miles from Susanville to the town of Mt. Shasta.


After leaving Susanville and heading west you’ll enter beautiful Lassen National Forest. In this photo I have parked the car off the road that you can see in the background. I walked off-road just enough to stand and admire glacier-capped Mt. Shasta to the north - at least 50 miles in the distance. It is an awe-inspiring site.


When you enter Lassen National Forest as I did from Susanville, you may experience a drop in temperature driving through the wetter area with denser trees, so carry along warmer clothes to layer on. I found that as we approached Mt. Shasta the temperature dipped, even in late summer.


The drive from Susanville to Rt. 5 which runs north-south through the center of the state is worth a day’s trip on its own. Enjoy the peace, quiet and majestic views of tall trees after leaving any of the busier towns in the south-east of the state.


Elevation Statistics and traveling directions


Rand McNally Road Atlas


Article and photo by Susan Helene Kramer; looking north at Mt. Shasta, California



Copyright 2012-2015 Susan Helene Kramer
Santa Barbara, California USA
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Published by Creations in Consciousness
web site


page created May 4, 2013