Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Susanville in northeast California celebrates its ranching, logging traditions; good ale

Downtown Susanville, Calif. (City of Susanville website)

Many RVers travel along US 395 on their way to and from Arizona and the Pacific Northwest or Canada.  In northeast California you’ll pass near Susanville, a small historic town nestled in a mountain valley at 4,400-feet. It sits about 90 miles north of Reno, Nevada, and about 90 miles east of Red Bluff, Calif.

This is a perfect place for RVers to stop for a few hours to visit the local historic railroad depot or pull over for the night and enjoy a Lassen Ale draft at the local brew pub–Pioneer Saloon, “the oldest operating business in northeast California.”

Here are a couple places to tempt you off the road:

Inside Railroad Deport

Susanville Railroad Depot and Visitor Center
601 Richmond Rd., Susanville, Calif.
Located at the head of the Bizz Johnson National Recreational Trail this restored railroad depot offers a visitor center and a museum. Free.
Hours: Monday thru Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
(530) 257-3252.

Roop’s Fort / Lassen Historical Museum
105 N. Weatherlow St., Susanville, Calif.
Open to the public Monday through Friday during the summer.
fort is the oldest structure in the town. The museum houses exhibits
chronicling the last 170 years in Susanville’s history. This small museum hass plenty of information on local history. The museum docents were helpful and informative. Take the time to stop by.
(530) 257-3292.

Pioneer Saloon

Lassen Ale Works at the Pioneer Saloon
724 Main St., Susanville, Calif.
(530) 257-7666

“The Pioneer Saloon, established in 1862, is the oldest operating business in northeast California. The bar, building and its large, exterior vintage neon sign are beloved local icons. People come in to take a seat at the 36-foot-long bar, ostensibly the longest in northeast California, and admire the display of hundreds of hand painted ranch brands representing generations of Lassen County cattlemen and women. The back room features a historic mural, one of many in Susanville, but the only one located inside a building, that celebrates the ranching and logging traditions of Lassen County,” according to the Sierra Nevada Geotourism’s website.

Lassen Ale Works at the Pioneer Saloon opened in May of 2012. The owners “dreamed of creating a warm, welcoming brew pub in a historic building that would become a community gathering spot and provide a boost to the economy. The four felt lucky to find this historic western saloon, steeped in history, with its rustic appeal still intact.”

The Lassen County Fair
Lassen County Fairgrounds in Susanville, Calif.
The summer’s biggest event comes in the form of a great old fashioned county fair. Live entertainment, 4H competition, Parades.
Third week in July.
(530) 251-8900.

For places to park your rig, check out RV Park Reviews. 

— Sources of information and photos: Sierra Nevada Geotourism, City of Susanville, Lassen County Chamber of Commerce. Lassen Ale Works at the Pioneer Saloon.

Julianne G. Crane
To read more about the RV lifestyle, go to

Julianne G. Crane
Julianne G. Crane
Julianne G. Crane writes about the RVing and camping lifestyles for print and online sites. She was been hooked on RVing from her first rig in the mid-1980s. Between 2000-2008, she was a writer for The Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, Wash. One of her popular columns was Wheel Life about RVing in the Pacific Northwest. In 2008, Crane started publishing RV Wheel She and her husband, Jimmy Smith, keep a homebase in southern Oregon, while they continue to explore North America in their 21-foot 2021 Escape travel trailer. Over the years they have owned every type of RV except a big class A. “Our needs change and thankfully, there’s an RV out there that fits every lifestyle.”



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