Snow is quickly melting in the Northwest Area of the park (Manzanita Lake) and some trails are snow-free. In the Southwest Area, the snowpack remains very deep through May and is best for winter recreation. View current snow depths here.
Walk/ride/bike the cleared highway. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy sections of the park highway that are plowed, but not yet open to vehicles. Leashed pets are welcome on pavement. Please clean-up after your pet. The park highway is open to vehicles between the Loomis Plaza and Devastated Area (10 miles). Plowing will begin in the Southwest Area on April 18. The highway is cleared, but not yet open to vehicles beyond the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center. Sulphur Works hydrothermal area. will open to vehicles Friday, May 10. View a map of road clearing progress/status.
Walk to Sulphur Works hydrothermal area. The highway is cleared, but not yet open to vehicles between the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center and Sulphur Works (two miles round-trip). It is anticipated to open Friday, May 10th. Sulphur Works is the only hydrothermal area that is accessible in the spring until the road to Warner Valley opens, usually in mid-June.
Hike lower elevation trails. The Manzanita Lake and Lily Pond Trails and Reflection Lake routes are mostly snow-free.
Snowshoe/Ski in the Northwest Area. Rent snowshoes in Mineral, Chester, Redding, or Chico before heading into the park. Snow-covered routes are availble from Devastated Area.
Enjoy a scenic drive around the park. There are two routes around the park that connect the Northwest and Southwest Entrances. The western route (Lanes Valley Road) passes through lower elevation meadows and rangelands, which are often bright green and filled with wildflowers in the spring. On clear days, the drive offers excellent views of Chaos Crags, Lassen Peak, and Brokeoff Mountain from afar. The eastern route (A21) has a similar feel to driving through the park as it passes through dense forest dotted with volcanoes, lakes, and meadows.
Snowshoe/Ski in the Southwest Area. Rent snowshoes in Mineral, Chester, Redding, or Chico before heading into the park. The steep terrain in this area creates some phenomenal views. Ridge Lakes, Diamond Peak, and Forest Lake (off the Brokeoff Mountain Trail) are good options for skiing or snowshoeing. Visitors traveling off the highway in this area should be avalanche aware. Watch a video about winter/snowy spring in the Southwest Area or view a guide to Southwest Area winter routes.
Explore the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center. The visitor center at the Southwest Entrance is open daily, 9 am to 5 pm through April. The visitor center is open daily beginning May 1.
Snow camp at the Southwest Campground. The only park campground open at this time is the Southwest Walk-in Campground, which is either camping on the snow or in a vehicle in the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center parking area. Manzanita Lake Campground is scheduled to open May 24.
Camp Outside the Park in lower elevation areas including the surrounding Lassen National Forest (LNF). Select campgrounds in LNF open as early as late-April and early-May. Additional LNF campgrounds are anticipated to open for Memorial Day weekend and then in June.
What to Do: June-July
Expect summer conditions in the lower elevations of the park (Manzanita Lake, Butte Lake, and Warner Valley areas) and partial winter conditions in the higher elevations (Lassen Peak and Juniper Lake). Learn more about planning an early summer visit in the 2019 Summer Newspaper. Please note the Bumpass Hell Trail will be closed for a rehabilitation project. Learn more about alternatives here.
Hike or backpack lower elevation trails. Trails in the Manzanita Lake, Butte Lake, and Warner Valley areas are likely to be mostly or completely snow free at this time. Opening of the roads to Butte Lake and Warner Valley may be delayed due to snowpack. Check road statuses prior to your visit.
Hike Lassen Peak (with snow traction equipment). The Lassen Peak Trail is likely to be at least partially snow-covered into July this year. Park staff places trail wands to help hikers follow the snow-covered trail. The trail is often icy in the mornings and slushy/slippery in the afternoons. Snowshoes, skis, or snow traction devices (ice cleats) are highly recommended. Trekking poles can also assist with balance. Dress in layers and be prepared for sudden changes in weather.
Camp under the stars. Park campgrounds are scheduled to open late-May (Manzanita Lake) through June, as conditions allow. Some openings may be delayed due to deep snow depths.
Visit the Loomis Museum and/or Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center (KYVC). The museum will be open Friday through Sunday beginning May 24 and then daily beginning June 17. The KYVC will be open daily beginning May 1. View more operating hours.
Drive open sections of the park highway. 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), open to through traffic. View a map of road clearing progress/status to see which segments of the highway will be open during your visit. In years with average snow depth, the highway has opened to through traffic around mid-June. This year's higher than average depth (133%) suggests the highway may open to through traffic later this year.
Enjoy spring skiing/snowshoeing. Spring snow conditions make Lassen a popular spring skiing and snowshoeing destination. Many visitors access the eastern slope of Lassen Peak from the Devastated Area or enjoy the steep terrain in the Southwest Area from Sulphur Works or Bumpass Hell and Lassen Peak parking areas, once open. Spring snow can cause wet, heavy avalanches, so backcountry users should be avalanche aware. Bring your own equipment, rentals are not available in the park.
Attend a ranger-led program. Ranger-led programs begin mid-June. Descriptions and a schedule will be posted here or can be found by date on the online calendar. The annual bird banding demonstrations will occur at Manzanita Lake on Sunday, July 14, 2019.
Participate in a field seminar. Learn something new in your national park with a field seminar on acrylic paining, hiking, or nature photography through the Lassen Association.
What to Do: August-October
Summer will likely be in full swing at this time. Park roads and facilities should be completely open at this time. Some trails may still have lingering patches of snow, which can make for fun summer snowplay.
View the 2019 Summer Newspaper for information to help you plan your summer or fall visit.