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Contact: Darlene M. Koontz, 530-595-4444 ext. 5101
Winter Road Closure Allows for Recreational Opportunities in Lassen Volcanic National Park
Winter has arrived in full swing at Lassen Volcanic National Park. As an annual rite of passage, recent storms have closed the road through the park to vehicle traffic for the winter season. “The arrival of winter to the park closes the park highway to vehicle traffic, but also provides for an abundance of new and wonderful ways to experience the park,” said Superintendent Darlene Koontz. The park road is open to the Manzanita Lake area on the north side, and to the Kohm Ya-mah-nee Visitor Center one mile inside the park from the southwest boundary. While not the latest road closure on record, it is later than most in the park’s 77-year road history. The latest road closure was on January 15 set in 1933 when there were attempts to keep the road open through the winter. The current snow depth at the visitor center measures 30”deep and increases with each storm.
Lassen Volcanic National Park is open throughout the winter and is an excellent time of year to experience a different, quieter side to the park. This year, the new Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center is open and available for winter park users. At the visitor center, you can experience the brand new park film (in high-definition and surround sound), view the interpretive exhibits in the exhibit hall, and purchase a cup of hot chocolate and keep warm by the stonework fireplace. “Start your day of fun at the visitor center. Whether you’re planning an overnight backcountry trip or just a day of family fun on our nearby sledding hill, you can get all of the information you need while enjoying the warmth and welcoming atmosphere of the visitor center,” stated Koontz.
This winter season, ranger-led snowshoe walks will be offered from the visitor center. Join a ranger for a one or two mile adventure exploring winter ecology and Lassen’s geologic history. Walks are held Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30pm from January 3 through April 5.
Visitors to the park should be prepared for a range of winter conditions. Check the most recent weather forecast, dress in layers, carry food and drinking water. Stow a shovel, extra blankets and tire chains in your vehicle in case unexpected winter road conditions delay your return home. Overnight visitors are required to obtain a wilderness permit, available at the visitor center or Loomis Ranger Station, before entering the backcountry.
The year-round entrance fee at Lassen Volcanic National Park is $10 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 Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act program, the park retains 80% of the fees collected to pay for the needed repairs and programs that improve visitor services and facilities.
For information more regarding ranger-led programs, backcountry permits, and weather and road conditions please visit the park website at www.nps.gov/lavo or call the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center at (530) 595-4480, open daily, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.