Lassen National Park Highway Opens for Through Travel after Successful Vehicle-free Weekend
Contact: Darlene M. Koontz, 530-595-6102
Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway Opens for Through Travel after Successful Vehicle-free Weekend Superintendent Darlene M. Koontz announced today that the park highway through Lassen Volcanic National Park has opened. "The unusually warm spring weather and light winter has helped to clear the highway of snow and rock for a successful vehicle-free weekend and in time for the Memorial Day Holiday," stated Superintendent Koontz. "The response from cyclists for this past weekend's access to the highway has been very positive. Some expressed their appreciation in hearing the natural springtime sounds of snowmelt, birds and breezes during their rides." Visitors are urged to watch for possible fallen rocks on the highway as they drive through the park. The highway may temporarily close at any time due to late spring storms.
The road to Butte Lake is also open while Warner Valley road is scheduled to open May 30 and Juniper Lake road opening will follow within two weeks. For those planning to camp Memorial Day Weekend, Manzanita Lake and Southwest campgrounds will be open May 23 and dry camping will be available at Crags campground. Other campgrounds will open soon after; Butte Lake and Warner Valley campgrounds will open June 6; Crags to fully open on June 13; Summit Lake and Juniper Lake campgrounds will open June 27.
Many of the park trails still have snow coverage, including Lassen Peak and Brokeoff Mountain trails. Hikers will find that an ice axe and crampons are necessary for the lower third of the Lassen Peak trail and travel in other snow-covered areas requires a minimum of sturdy hiking boots and trekking poles. Kings Creek Falls and Bumpass Hell trails are not accessible due to snow.
For those hikers wishing to avoid snowy areas, they can enjoy trails in the Manzanita Lake and Butte Lake areas. One hike frequently overlooked is Cinder Cone volcano trail which begins along Fantastic Lava Beds and opens up with wonderful views of the Painted Dunes, Snag Lake and Lassen Peak. Visitors should dress in layers to adjust for changing weather conditions and bring food, water, sunscreen, first aid kit, and sunglasses.
The trail to Lassen Peak Summit will close on June 2 at the 1.3 mile "Grandview Overlook" as trail work on the Lassen Peak Trail resumes for the season. This summer the trail to the summit will be open on the weekends of June 13-15, July 3-6, August 8-10, August 29-September 1, and September 26-28.
Ranger-led programs beginning June 21 are offered throughout the summer. Other special programs and events are scheduled such as the Lassen Dark Sky Festival which features Lassen's incredible, dark, night sky through junior ranger programs, a solar system hike, constellation tours and stargazing. For National Get Outdoors Day on June 14, Lassen kicks off a Reach Higher Trail Challenge for different fitness and experience levels of hiking. Other events include the Art & Wine of Lassen, and Ed-Venture Workshops in photography. For specific program and event information please refer to the summer park guide, Peak Experiences, which can be found at park entrance stations, visitor centers, and posted on the park website, www.nps.gov/lavo.
The historic Loomis Museum will be open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Memorial Day beginning May 23 and daily beginning June 14. The concession-run Camper Service Store (Manzanita Lake) will open May 23. The Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, Lassen Café &Gift, and Lassen Association Bookstore are open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
To learn more about facility opening activities, trail status, receive updates, or check for current conditions, go to the park website at www.nps.gov/lavo, on Twitter @LassenNPS, on Facebook or contact park staff at (530) 595-4480.
Did You Know?
The reddish color sometimes observed on top of snow at Lassen Volcanic NP snow is a living organism called snow algae. When snow begins to thaw, these microscopic organisms spring to life. They function as a primary food source and are being studied for their cancer-fighting properties.