Memorial Day Weekend at Lassen Volcanic National Park
Contact: Darlene M. Koontz, 530-595-4444 x5101
This Memorial Day weekend visitors will be able to escape the warmer temperatures of the valley and enjoy the beautiful springtime weather at Lassen Volcanic National Park. “Even though the road through the park is not completely open, visitors can drive ten miles in from Manzanita Lake to the Devastated Area, and eight miles in from the Southwest Entrance Station to the Bumpass Hell Parking Area just above Emerald Lake,” stated Park Superintendent Darlene M. Koontz. “Snow plows will continue to clear and we anticipate the main road to be open for through-traffic in two weeks. The Warner Valley and Butte Lake Roads are also open at this time,” said Superintendent Koontz.
Camping is currently available at Southwest Campground (walk-in sites) and Warner Valley Campground (dry camping). The largest and most popular campground at Manzanita Lake will open this Friday, May 22. The concession-run Camper Service Store at Manzanita Lake opens for the summer season on May 21. Visitors are encouraged to stop in for information on trails, camping and other park activities at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, open daily (year-round) and the Loomis Museum to be open daily beginning May 22.
Hiking trails in Manzanita Lake and Butte Lake areas are now open to hikers. Most other park trails, including Bumpass Hell Trail are still snow-covered, inaccessible and difficult to locate. Although Lassen Peak Trail Parking Area has been cleared of snow, the Lassen Peak Trail is snow-covered and many of the switchbacks have snowy ice drifts. Ice crampons and ice axes are required to safely negotiate the trail at this time. For those with the proper hiking equipment, the trail has been flagged to aid hikers to stay on trail and avoid off-trail damage to the underlying landscape.
Visitors that walk or bike along the plowed portions of the Main Park Road beyond the closure gates should be aware that the snow removal equipment is working and to avoid these areas. Visibility for the heavy equipment operators is very limited and can be hazardous. Even though it feels like summer in the valley, visitors need to be prepared for the possible wintery conditions as mountain weather can change quickly. It is best to dress in layers so you may adjust for changing conditions and bring food, water, sunscreen and sunglasses.
For campground updates, current road and trail conditions, and further information, please visit the park website at www.nps.gov/lavo or contact the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center (530) 595-4480 daily 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Did You Know?
The 29 mile Main Park Road was constructed between 1925 and 1931, just 10 years after Lassen Peak erupted. Near Lassen Peak the road reaches 8512 feet, making it the highest road in the Cascade Mountains. It is not unusual for 40 feet of snow to accumulate on the road near Lake Helen.