My fiance and I are HUGE roadtrippers. We love getting in the car and just driving…we even drove cross country last summer! This Memorial Day weekend we did a road trip to Lassen Volcanic National Park and Crater Lake National Park.

We left around 10:30 am on Saturday and made our way toward Lassen Volcanic National Park. We made it there around 4pm, unfortunately all the trails were snowed in and not accessible. I was hoping to do the Bumpass Trail ( 1.5 miles RT) which goes through some boiling pools of mud and other hydrothermal features. We drove all the way through the park and took a few stops to take in the view.

We ended up staying at the Rodeway Inn in Redding,CA, a small town on I-5. The hotel was cheap and the food ran out in the morning for breakfast, but the room was clean and warm and it was also the only place with a vacancy last minute. The town of Redding in itself looked really cute, but everything closes early and by the time we rolled in at 8pm, the entire city was shut down. We took this as an opportunity to stay in, watch a movie and go to bed early so we could leave early in the morning for Crater Lake NP.

Where to stay: Rodeway Inn

Crater Lake road trip itinerary

The next morning we left around 9 AM and took I-5 up to Crater Lake NP. It took us around 4.5 hours but it was one of the most beautiful rides I have ever taken. Halfway through you hit Mount Shasta and it is just breathtaking. This beautiful, giant, snow covered mountain just rises from nowhere. You feel like it is following you as you drive as it’s in your view for at least 1.5 hours. You also drive through Shasta lakes, which is famous for its houseboats and caverns.

We reached Crater Lake NP at around noon. The entire lake/mountain was covered in fog and once again the weather muddled my plans. As soon as I thought this entire weekend was a crapshoot, the fog started to lift and a peek of the cerulean blue lake started to show. The lake was the bluest blue I have ever seen. I quickly snapped up a few shots in fear that the fog would return.

We drove around the east rim of the park as the west rim was closed due to snow. It was freezing but the view was worth getting out the car. I would suggest coming here in late July/August for better weather.

We stayed in Klamath Falls, OR that night at the Cimarron Inn. At first sight, it looks like a creepy motor inn, but don’t judge this place too quickly. Inside it is beautifully modern and well kept. The breakfast in the morning was awesome, with waffles and warm biscuits! The town itself is pretty boring. My fiance and I ended up going to Walmart nearby to buy board games and snacks from our childhood past and enjoyed a board game night.

Where to stay: Cimarron Inn Klamath Falls

Shasta Lakes Caverns

On Monday we drove down I-5 south and stopped at Shasta Lakes to check out one of the caverns. The tour includes a boat ride and truck ride up the mountain to the caverns. The entire tour is about 2.5-3 hours. The caves themselves were beautiful and only make up 1% of the caves in the Shasta area. I really thought it was unique and well worth checking out.

We left Lake Shasta at 4 pm and were at home in our beds by 8:30pm. Over all the trip was a lot of fun and I got to check off more national parks from my list. I got to see a different part of California and fell in love with the beauty it has to offer. I would suggest doing this trip later in the summer so that you can enjoy the parks even more as most of the roads and trails were snowed in.


Author: My name is Hetal Vasavada of Milk & Cardamom! I’m a Jersey native who has adopted the beautiful city of San Fran as home. Cooking and baking are a passion of mine that have lead me on a wonderful journey including the opportunity to be a contestant on season 6 of Masterchef.

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