Lassen Volcanic National Park Opens Road 10 miles to the Devastated Area
Contact: Darlene M. Koontz, (530) 595-4444, ext. 5101
Lassen Volcanic National Park has opened the main park road from the Manzanita Lake Entrance 10 miles to the Devastated Area as of April 30. The Devastated Area provides opportunities for visitors to hike, cross country ski, and play in the snow. “Although recent spring snowstorms delayed the road opening, it left us with a fresh layer of snow to enjoy.” said Superintendent Darlene M. Koontz. “Visitors should be prepared for possible winter conditions by bringing vehicle chains, blankets, food and water as mountain weather can change quickly. It is best to dress in layers to adjust for changing weather and wear sunscreen with sunglasses.” added Koontz.
The 30 miles of park roadway from Highway 44 in the North to Highway 36 in the South typically opens fully to the public by mid to late June, depending on weather conditions. May can still bring significant snowfall and the road may be closed for short time periods during lingering snowstorms.
The park’s road crew is now clearing the road on the south side of the park. Because snow clearing is often performed in steep terrain, where the road may not be apparent, an enhanced global positioning system is used to locate the road under the snow. Snow players, snowboarders and cross country skiers should stay clear of snowplows working in these areas (both up slope and down slope), as equipment operators may be unable to see or hear them.
Snow depth at the Lake Helen Snow Survey site for the month of April is 181.9 inches with water content of 88 inches, density of 48% which is 109.3% of normal.
For more information regarding road conditions call Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center at (530) 595-4480, daily, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or visit www.nps.gov/lavo.
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.