Lassen Volcanic National Park Opens Road to Bumpass Hell Parking Area for 2008
Contact: Darlene M. Koontz, (530) 595-4444, ext. 5101
Lassen Volcanic National Park Opens Road to Bumpass Hell Parking Area
Superintendent Darlene M. Koontz announced that Lassen Volcanic National Park’s main park road opened today to the Bumpass Hell parking area, which is eight miles from the Southwest Entrance. The Butte Lake area on the northeast side of the park is now accessible for day-use only. The Devastated Area, which is 10 miles into the park from the Manzanita Lake Entrance, remains clear and open since April 4th.
Good weather has allowed road crews to make excellent progress. There is approximately 9 feet of snow at the Lassen Peak parking area, which is less than normal for this time of year. Snow depths should diminish significantly as the crew progresses further down in elevation and warmer weather is more frequent. “This is a great a great time for visitors to experience a wider variety of activities in the park,” said Superintendent Koontz. “The road crew has been working diligently and safely since March 3rd to ensure a timely complete road opening.”
Visitors can walk or cycle on the plowed road, but most trails including the Bumpass Hell trail are still inaccessible due to snow. Skiing conditions are variable at this time, as are avalanche conditions particularly in backcountry areas. Nighttime freezing can create ice patches on the road and an icy snow pack until 10 or 11 a.m. It is important for visitors to still prepare for winter conditions at these higher elevations and check avalanche conditions beforehand. Dress in layers of clothing to adjust for conditions and bring food, water, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Please keep in mind it is that time of year when storms may intermittently close the road until the road crew can safely re-open it.
Visitors should also try to avoid snow removal equipment when possible. Visibility for equipment operators is limited and can be very hazardous.
For information about visitor services, road and weather conditions, please check the park’s website at www.nps.gov/lavo under “Current Conditions” or call (530) 595-4444, Monday though Friday except holidays, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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.