For anyone looking for calm paddle with an incredible view of one of the world's largest lava dome volcanoes, Manzanita Lake is the perfect place. Lying below Lassen Peak in Lassen Volcanic National Park, this lake exudes a relaxing atmosphere. While paddling, keep your eyes peeled for osprey diving into the cool waters or cast out a line for a chance to catch rainbow, brown, and brook trout. A designated boat launch area exists at the southeast end of the lake and is the only location allowed for launching a vessel. Here vessels can also be rented for anyone without their own kayak or canoe.
Manzanita Lake was formed about 300 years ago when a large rock avalanche fell from nearby Chaos Crags and created a natural dam along Manzanita Creek. The lake has become a valuable habitat for fish along with osprey, bald eagles, great blue heron, Canada geese, and other large birds. A pair of binoculars are a great tool for viewing these magnificent birds and also to help maintain a respectful distance.