Be Prepared for the Season
Due to intermittent park highway closures in the fall, travel to Lassen Peak may involve some method of over the snow travel for at least six miles. A winter ascent requires one or more nights of backcountry camping. Conditions on the mountain can be severe including strong winds, sub-zero temperatures, and avalanche danger. Sun exposure can also be a serious hazard. Use sunscreen and eye protection even on cloudy days. Use of technical climbing gear (i.e. ice axe, crampons, etc.) may be required, experience in its use is highly recommended. Prior experience with winter camping is also recommended. Due to the remote location and hazardous conditions, emergency response could require an extended period of time. Be self-reliant.
Safety and Preparedness
- Always read and follow the signs posted at the trailhead and visitor centers.
- Stay on the trail and don’t cut switchbacks.
- Parts of the trail will be closed during construction. Respect these closures. They are for your safety.
- Check weather reports, www.nps.gov/lavo, telephone recordings, and talk with rangers about the most up-to-date information.
- When work is not actively going on, tools and materials may be located next to the trail and in the parking lot. They will be marked “closed” or “stay off." Do not climb on or venture close to these areas.
- Climb with a partner if you can, or let someone know your itinerary.
- Weather can change rapidly, and snow is possible any month of the year. Get an early start to avoid afternoon storms and lightning.
- If coming from an elevation near sea level, a day or two of acclimatizing can help.
- If you start to experience any symptoms of altitude related ailments (headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, confusion, pain behind the eyes, nausea), Descend Immediately. Seek medical attention from a ranger or doctor.
- Practice trail etiquette. People going up have the right of way, please carefully step off the trail to allow them to pass or when taking a breather.
- Drink plenty of water and bring snacks. Carry at least a liter of water per person.
- Wear sturdy hiking boots.