Hike and Bike the Highway

A group of bicyclists hold their bicycles above their head next to a sign that reads "Summit Elevation 8511 feet"
 
In the spring and early summer season, Lassen Volcanic National Park undergoes a winter-to-spring transition. Vehicle and snow-free hiking trail access increases gradually first at lower elevations (Manzanita Lake) and then often much later the park's highest elevations (Lassen Peak). During this time visitors can enjoy park sights without traveling over snow by walking, running, or biking sections of the park highway once they are cleared of snow and before they open to vehicles.
 

FAQs

Q: When will Hike and Bike the Highway (HBH) Occur?
A: HBH begins once road crews complete clearing snow from the first section of highway, which is 10 miles from Loomis Plaza to Devastated Area. HBH ends when the highway opens to through traffic (between the Manzanita Lake and Southwest entrances) for the summer season.

Q: When will the sections open for HBH?
A: Generally, the timing of the opening of sections and eventually the entire highway to vehicles change each year and is largely dependent on snow depth, snow clearing operations, and conditions at the time of anticipated opening. The park cannot predict when sections or the entire highway will open. View a map of road clearing progress/status.

Q: Which sections of the highway are open to HBH?
A: The park highway usually opens in segments as snow clearing operations progress. Usual order of opening is: Loomis Museum to Devastated Area (10 miles), Southwest Entrance to Sulphur Works (1 mile), Sulphur Works to Bumpass Hell parking area or Lassen Peak parking area (7 or 8 miles), and then open to through traffic. You can view a map of road clearing progress/status to see which segments of the highway will be open during your visit.

Q: Are pets permitted on the highway?
A:
Yes! HBH is a great opportunity to enjoy the park with your leashed pet. Pets must be on a leash of five feet or less and are only permitted on the paved road. Pets are not permitted on park trails, in any body of water, or in park facilities.

Q: Is HBH a single day event?
A: HBH began as a single day event and has since grown to an multi-month, springtime opportunity for visitors to enjoy cleared sections of highway before they open to vehicles. When conditions and timing allow, the Saturday before the highway opens to through traffic is promoted as the final opportunity for HBH.

Q: Will sections of the highway close again once they have been opened to vehicles?
A:
Once opened to vehicles, sections of the highway will not be closed specifically to allow non-vehicular use. Sections of the highway may temporarily close if conditions warrant; spring and early snow storms occur occasionally in the higher elevations of the park.

 
Table with mileage between waypoints on the park highway
Waypoints and Distances on Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway
 
Map of park highway. Black line shows cleared section open to traffic, red line depicts cleared section not yet open to vehicles
Map of waypoints on park highway
 

Safety

  • Share the road and maintain a safe distance between walkers and cyclists. Bicycle helmets are strongly encouraged. The park highway is narrow and winding; sharp turns may prevent unobstructed views of what lies ahead.
  • Riders may face hazards including high speeds on steep downhill sections, rocks, wildlife, and other road hazards. Exercise caution by staying alert for rockfall, traveling in the lane farthest from a downward slope, and maintaining an appropriate speed.
  • Dogs must be leashed (5 feet or less) and are only permitted on the road. Dogs are not permitted on any park trails.
  • Cell phone service is limited in the park. AT&T and Verizon provide the best coverage, however it is spotty and should not be relied upon for emergencies. There is an emergency phone located at Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center and Loomis Museum.

Preparedness

  • Come prepared for cool weather especially in the early morning and late evening. Lassen is a high elevation park ranging from 5,650 to 10,457 feet and weather can change quickly. Check the weather forecast before your visit and come prepared for the conditions.
  • Wear layers and bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Even on overcast days, sun exposure is greater at higher elevations.
  • Is your bike ready to ride? Check that your tires have sufficient air, brakes are working, chain runs smoothly, and carry tools and supplies that are appropriate for your ride.
  • Are you prepared to walk or bike? Bring sufficient snacks, water, and a first aid kit. Don’t forget your camera!

Facilities

  • Restrooms are available at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, Sulphur Works parking area, Devastated Area, and Loomis Plaza.
  • Parking is available on at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center and Loomis Museum.
  • Water is available at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center and Loomis Plaza. Food service is available at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center and the Manzanita Lake Camper Store beginning Memorial Day weekend.
  • The Southwest Walk-in Campground is open year-round. Camping in vehicles is allowed in the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center parking area. Camping fees apply. The Manzanita Lake Campground opens Memorial Day weekend. View more campground information.
  • The Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center is open year-round (closed Monday and Tuesday through April 30). The Loomis Museum is open weekends beginning Memorial Day weekend and daily in mid-June. Both centers are open 9 am to 5 pm. View all operating hours.

 

Last updated: March 7, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 100
Mineral, CA 96063

Phone:

(530) 595-4480

Contact Us