Scenic Drive through Lassen Volcanic National Park to Open for the Holiday Weekend
Contact: Darlene Koontz, (530) 595-6102
MINERAL, CA - Superintendent Darlene M. Koontz announced today that the main park road through Lassen Volcanic National Park is scheduled to open at noon Friday, May 24 in time for the Memorial Day weekend. "The unusually warm spring weather has really helped in snow plowing operations and will give greater access for visitors this coming holiday weekend," stated Superintendent Koontz. The road to Butte Lake is also open while the roads into Warner Valley and Juniper Lake are scheduled to open June 14. Road repairs continue at Sulphur Works, with one lane opening for through travel May 24-27. The road to Sulphur Works will be closed to vehicles May 28-June 5, however it will remain open for walkers and bicyclists.
For those planning to camp Memorial Day Weekend, Manzanita Lake and Southwest campgrounds will be open May 24 and dry camping will be available at Crags campground. Other campgrounds will open soon after; Butte Lake campground will open June 7; Warner Valley and Crags fully open on June 14; Summit Lake and Juniper Lake campgrounds will open June 28.
Many of the park trails still have snow coverage, including Lassen Peak and Brokeoff Mountain trails. Hikers will find that travel in snow-covered areas requires sturdy hiking boots and trekking poles. Kings Creek Falls and Bumpass Hell trails are not accessible due to snow. The trail to Lassen Peak summit is closed at the 1.3 mile "Grandview Overlook" as work on the Lassen Peak Trail will soon resume for the season. This summer the trail to Lassen Peak Summit will be open on the weekends of June 21-23, July 4-7, August 16-18, and August 30-September 2.
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, and sunglasses.
Trail work to re-open trails located in the 2012 Reading Fire burn area is to begin May 20 and we anticipate necessary work to be completed by June 7. This area includes trails such as the Pacific Crest Trail, Cluster Lakes trail, Twin Lakes trail, and a portion of Nobles Emigrant Trail. Once opened, visitors are advised that unmarked and unknown hazards may exist in the areas burned by the fire. These hazards may include unstable terrain, rockfalls, falling trees, and stump holes/root chambers. Extra caution is needed when hiking in these areas.
Ranger-led programs beginning June 28 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 8, Lassen kicks off an Explore Safely Trail Challenge for different fitness and experience levels of hiking. Other events include the Art & Wine of Lassen, Summer Fun BBQ-Auction, and Ed-Venture Workshops in photography, geology, and birding. 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 24 and daily beginning June 16. The concession-run Camper Service Store (Manzanita Lake) and Lassen Café and Gift will open May 23. The Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center 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.