• Lassen Peak from Hat Creek

    Lassen Volcanic

    National Park California

Recent Storms Highlight Winter Recreation Opportunities at Lassen Volcanic National Park.

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Date: December 21, 2007

Recent Storms Highlight Winter Recreation Opportunities at Lassen Volcanic National Park.

This winter, ranger-led snowshoe walks will be offered at the Manzanita Lake area near the north entrance of Lassen Volcanic National Park. “The recent storms have come just in time for the first snowshoe walks scheduled this weekend,” said Park Superintendent Darlene M. Koontz. “Normally these public programs are offered at the southwest entrance where there is a greater accumulation of snow, but due to the construction of the park’s new visitor center and limited parking, there will be no ranger-led activities offered to the public or organized groups in the southwest area this season.” The Southwest Campground will also be closed for this winter season. Due to construction, parking will be limited for both day and backcountry users visiting the southwest side of the park. Vehicles greater than 23 feet in length will not be allowed in this area.

Snowshoes have provided a traditional means of travel for people in mountain areas for many centuries. An important part of North American cultural heritage, snowshoes were used by both Native Americans and European emigrants as a winter survival tool for hunting and exploration. Today, snowshoeing is one of the fasting growing winter recreation activities in America that provides people of all ages with a challenging and fun way to get outside and enjoy the winter season.

The programs offered at Manzanita Lake will be an opportunity to experience the beauty of the park, take a unique look into the mysterious world of winter, and learn how wildlife adapt and survive in this snowy environment. The walks also provide participants with instruction on the proper techniques of snowshoeing, tips on outdoor survival, and safety needed for winter mountain travel. Snowshoe walks will be offered twice daily on Saturdays and Sundays from December 22 through March 16. Meet the park ranger at the Loomis Ranger Station at 10:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. Programs last 1½ to 2 hours and are open to individuals and families with children age eight and older. For safety reasons, infants and children in carriers are not permitted. Walks vary in route and distance depending on the group, weather, and snow conditions. Snowshoes are provided by the National Park Service for a suggested $1.00 donation for their use and maintenance. Please dress in layers for winter conditions and wear warm boots.

Visitors coming to the park should be prepared for winter conditions. Carry extra blankets, food, drinking water, a shovel, and tire chains in your vehicle. Since weather can change quickly at these elevations, be prepared to spend the night in your vehicle, if necessary.

The main park road will be plowed to the Southwest Entrance Station on the south side and to the Loomis Ranger Station on the north side. The remainder of the road will be closed for the winter season. Restrooms are available at both locations. Water will only be available at the Loomis Ranger Station. Overnight visitors are required to obtain a wilderness permit before entering the backcountry. The year-round entrance fee at Lassen Volcanic National Park is $10.00 per vehicle and is valid for seven days. The Annual Park Pass is available for $25 and is valid for a year from the month of purchase. As part of the Fee Demonstration Program, the park will retain 80 percent of the fees collected to pay for needed repairs and projects to improve visitor facilities and services.

For information regarding ranger-led programs, backcountry permits, and weather and road conditions visit the park website at www.nps.gov/lavo or call Park Headquarters at (530) 595-4444, Monday through Friday, except holidays, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

-NPS-

Did You Know?

picture of car sized snowblower against 10 foot snow drifts blowing the snow above the drifts

The Lassen Volcanic National Park Main Park Road can open as early as May 10th and as late as mid-July depending on how much snow falls during the winter.