Could The Drakesbad Guest Ranch Be in Danger of Closing to the Public?

MINERAL, CA – Lassen Volcanic National Park Superintendent Jim Richardson invites comment during a 30-day public review period of the Replace Drakesbad Wastewater Disposal Field Environmental Assessment (EA). The EA analyzes the impacts of two alternatives—a no action alternative and the park’s proposed/preferred alternative to construct a new disposal field.

Drakesbad lodge 1926 NPS
Drakesbad lodge 1926 NPS


The Drakesbad Guest Ranch is located at the end of the Warner Valley Road in the Warner Valley, about 45 miles outside of Chester, CA, in the south east portion of the park. The Drakesbad Guest Ranch is part of the Drakesbad Guest Ranch Historic District, and the facilities include a lodge, dining hall, cabins, duplex units, bath house, for the thermal pool, employee housing, laundry facilities, and public restrooms. They are operated by a concession on a seasonal basis, closing for the winter.

At Drakesbad, the wastewater system consists of a gravity sewer collection to a septic tank and effluent pump station that delivers wastewater up to a disposal field. During the summer of 2017, wastewater was seen surfacing on the ground indicating a failure of the leach field. Without a functioning wastewater system, the area would be unsuitable for visitor use and the existing facilities would need to be closed.

To address these and other issues, the environmental assessment considers two alternatives. Alternative 1 analyzes a no action alternative continuing the existing management of the Drakesbad leachfield. Alternative 2, proposes to construct a new wastewater disposal field in order to treat the wastewater generated at the Drakesbad facilities.

Because public participation is very important to the success of the project, the National Park Service (NPS) encourages your input and comment during the public review period. Comments will be accepted through May 30, 2019. Comments can be submitted online by visiting http://parkplanning.nps.gov/DrakesbadSepticSystem, the website for the NPS’s Planning Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) system. The NPS prefers comments to be submitted in writing on the same site. However, comments may also be sent to:

Superintendent, Lassen Volcanic National Park, P.O. Box 100, Mineral, California 96063

Commentators should be aware that their entire comment – including personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While commentators can ask that their personal identifying information be withheld from public review, the National Park Service cannot guarantee that this will be possible.