Cabins have returned to Manzanita Lake campground in Northern California’s Lassen Volcanic National Park.
The 20 rentals will be available Memorial Day through Columbus Day. Reservations opened this week at www.lassenrecreation.com, the Redding Record Searchlight reported.
The prefabricated, wooden cabins, built by Cavco Industries Inc., were rolled onto a long-closed loop of the campground last summer. Workers spent the snow-free months improving the site and adding fire rings, picnic tables and bear-proof food lockers so the cabins would be ready for their debut this summer.
The cabins bring back a way to take in Lassen’s outdoor attractions from indoors. Manzanita Lake’s decades-old, well-loved cabins closed in 1974 after a U.S. Geological Survey report warned that they could be at risk from sudden rockslides from Chaos Crags. The danger was downgraded by scientists in the late 1980s, but by then the cabins had been demolished.
Lassen officials hope the new cabins draw more people to the park. National parks that lack the big-name recognition of places like Yellowstone and Yosemite have seen a decline in visitors the last several years, said John Poimiroo, spokesman for California Guest Services, which will manage the cabins. Offering cabins is a way for Lassen to appeal to people who don’t want a traditional camping experience, he said.
“There’s something about being in a cabin,” Poimiroo said. “It feels like your own little home in the woods.”
The cabins should draw new visitors to the park and could get Lassen regulars to stay longer.
The cabins come in three configurations — one-bedroom, two-bedroom and bunkhouse. Costs are $57 or $81 per night, which includes taxes and reservation fees.
Poimiroo expects the cabins to draw young families who might be interested in camping, but who don’t own camping equipment. The cabins also could be attractive to seasoned campers who no longer want to pitch a tent, he said.
The cabins are cozy, not cushy. Unlike the previous Manzanita Lake cabins, which were constructed on site and included bathrooms, the new cabins don’t have bathrooms or kitchens. Restrooms are located nearby and each site has an outdoor fire ring, picnic table and food storage locker.
Poimiroo said “camper packages” with sleeping bags, cookstove, firewood, cooler, ice, pots and pans and other items can be rented for $100 to $275.
Lassen spent $520,000 on the cabins and site work. Most of that money came from the fees visitors pay to enter the park or camp.
If there’s demand, 20 more cabins could be added. There’s also the option of stretching the summer cabin season into winter. Each cabin has a lantern and propane heater.
Poimiroo predicts the cabins will be a hit.
“I think they are going to be extremely popular,” Poimiroo said. “People like the cabin experience. It’s something that creates great memories for children.”