Oversnow Route Conditions

Season for Winter/Spring Oversnow Routes: November - May

This Oversnow Route Conditions page is updated from November - May.

If looking for hiking conditions during the months of June - October, please refer to the Summer Trail Conditions page, which gives ideas for hiking in summer and fall. Hiking trails can remain snow-covered into June and sometimes July. Trails are not cleared of winter snow accumulation. Trails melt out naturally.


Snow-covered roads and trails in the park are considered winter routes and require snowshoes or skis to enjoy safely. View maps and details of winter routes in the Southwest Area or Manzanita Lake Area. When selecting a route, please consider:

  • All trails in the park are covered with snow from approximately November -April/May each year. The park does not clear snow on hiking trails.
  • There are no groomed ski routes in the park.
  • Many oversnow routes do not follow summer trails exactly; some summer trails are not recommended as oversnow routes.
  • Pets are not permitted on snow-covered routes or on the snow-covered park road. Leashed pets are permitted in parking areas. They are also permitted on the plowed park road, once it is free of snow.
  • Spring snow clearing operations affects portions of the highway route. Visitors can walk or bike sections of the highway once they are cleared of snow and before they are open to vehicles.
  • Oversnow travel involves risk. Learn more about winter safety including avalanche safety, recreating in a remote area, and route selection.
  • Bumpass Hell Trail is closed thorughout the snowy season. Remote location, steep drop-offs, cornices, difficult access, avalanche terrain, hidden hazards beneath the snow make this trail unsitable for oversnow travel. This trail typically opens for hiking in June or July.
 

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Last updated: 5/28/22 - This page is updated once snow falls, typically in November. Thoughout the snow season, it is periodically updated when conditions change, if known. Updates may occur thorugh May. | View current snow depths
From June - October, this page is not updated and visitors should go to the Summer Trail Conditions page.

Oversnow Route

Miles (RT)

Difficulty

Condition

Southwest Area Winter Routes | Elevations range from 6,700 feet to 10,457 feet

Park Highway Route
(main park road)

Varies

Varies

Road opened to Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center.

Road clear of snow to pedestrian foot and bicycle traffic to Lassen Peak parking area from Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center. Road is not open to vehicles beyond Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center.

Sulphur Works
(via Hwy Route)

2.0

Beginner

Road to Sulphur Works is clear of snow and accessible by foot or bicycle. Not open to vehicle access.

Lassen Peak

17.0

Advanced

Lassen Peak trail is entirely snow-covered. Depth varies due to wind-blown and melted snow. Snowshoes are necessary. Ski or boot crampons or ice axe are necessary. Ski conditions change often.

The route passes through avalanche terrain. Be avalanche aware. Avalanche gear is highly recommended.
Protect the Lassen Peak Trail; do not cut switchbacks once trail is visible.

Ridge Lakes

2.0

Intermediate

Snowshoes, microspikes, and trekking poles are recommended.

Forest Lake

1.2

Intermediate

Snowshoes or skis are necessary. Trekking poles are recommended.

Brokeoff Mountain

7.0

Advanced

Snowdepth varies due to wind-blown and melted snow. Snowshoes are necessary. Ski or boot crampons are necessary. Ice axe may be necessary to reach the summit. Trekking poles are recommended.

The route passes through avalanche terrain. Be avalanche aware. Avalanche gear is highly recommended.

Bumpass Hell - Closed

NOT A WINTER ROUTE. Trail is closed in winter. This trail is closed every winter/spring until snow is free of snow/ice hazards. Trail typically re-opens in June or July. See trail opening dates from previous years, which are largely affected by snowpack. See summer trail conditions page for more information.

Mill Creek Falls

CLOSED due to the Dixie Fire

McGowan Cross-Country Ski Area
Lassen National Forest

Varies

Varies

Snow-covered. Check website for more information.

Manzanita Lake Area Winter Routes | Elevations range from 5,900 feet to 7,200 feet

Park Highway Route
(main park road)

Varies

Intermediate

Road is open for vehicles 11 miles from Northwest Entrance to Devastated Area.

Most areas are snow free.

Be cautious of downed trees. Be careful walking around downed trees.
Hikers must follow established route. Going off established route causes damage to the trail.

Reflection Lake Loop

0.5

Beginner

Snow free.

Be cautious of downed trees. Be careful walking around downed trees.
Hikers must follow established route. Going off established route causes damage to the trail.

Manzanita Lake Campground Loop

1.8

Beginner

Snow free.

Be cautious of downed trees. Be careful walking around downed trees.
Hikers must follow established route. Going off established route causes damage to the trail.

Manzanita Lake Loop

1.8

Beginner

Snow free.

Be cautious of downed trees. Be careful walking around downed trees.
Hikers must follow established route. Going off established route causes damage to the trail.

Boat Launch is open.

Chaos Crags Route

4.0

Intermediate

Snow free.

Crags Lake is dry.

Nobles Emigrant Route

5.2

Intermediate

Snow free.

Be cautious of downed trees. Be careful walking around downed trees. Hikers must follow established route. Going off established route causes damage to the trail.

Manzanita Creek

7.5

Intermediate

Bare ground, patches of snow at the end of Manzanita Creek trail.

Be cautious of downed trees. Be careful walking around downed trees.
Hikers must follow established route. Going off established route causes damage to the trail.

Butte Lake Area | Elevations range from 6,100 feet to 8,300 feet

Butte Lake Road

6.0

The road is open for day use only.
Patchy snow.

Warner Valley Area | 5,600 feet

Warner Valley Road

6.0

CLOSED to all uses due to the Dixie Fire.

Juniper Lake Area | 8,000 feet

Juniper Lake Road

4.0

The road is closed to vehicle traffic throughout the winter snow season.

Ski/snowshoes is the best method of travel. Expect postholing/sliding without the use of skis or snowshoes.

 

Not Recommended for Oversnow Travel

Some summer trails are not recommended for oversnow travel due to hazards including terrain, avalanche danger, and hydrothermal hazards.

  • Mill Creek Falls Trail: This trail is CLOSED due to hazards created from the Dixie Fire. The first footbridge at the start of the trail is not burned. The overlook and waterfall bridges had burned. Other sections of the trail cross a steep slope above Mill Creek and are not ideal for oversnow travel.The trail is closed due to post Dixie hazards. Burned Area Safety - Lassen Volcanic National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)
  • Bumpass Hell Hydrothermal Area: In addition to requiring nearly 7 miles of one-way travel on the highway route, the summer trail traverses steep slopes above Little Hot Springs Valley which is not safe for oversnow travel. Bumpass Hell Trail remains CLOSED until the trail is snow-free due to these snow/ice hazards.

Last updated: June 24, 2022

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