Visiting in Spring

Plan a Spring Visit: April - June

Spring is a time to enjoy sunshine and snow at Lassen Volcanic. Conditions and activities in the spring vary widely depending on snowpack and the progress of spring road clearing operations.

Winter/Spring Guide

In most years, the snow season lasts into June. View or print the park Winter Guide (3.2 MB, pdf), a comprehensive resource for planning a snowy, spring or winter visit.

Weather

Highly variable with relatively warm, sunny days and occasional winter storms. Expect a 5° temperature decrease for every 1,000 foot increase in elevation. View the weather forecast for each area prior to your visit.
Manzanita Lake Area (5,800 ft / 1,767 m) average spring high / low: 29° / 70°F ( -1° / 21°C)

Areas to Visit

The Manzanita Lake and Southwest Areas of the park remain accessible by car all year. The park highway and other park roads remain closed due to snow, often until late May or June (see a list of opening dates since 1980). Be prepared for winter driving conditions, even in spring, by carrying tire chains and keeping a full tank of gasthe nearest station is 30 miles away.

Snow melt begins at the lower elevation areas of the park including Manzanita Lake (5,800 ft), Butte Lake (6,100 feet), and Warner Valley (5,600 feet). Conditions change quickly in the spring. Current snow depths, spring road clearing progress, and trail conditions can help you know what to expect.

Snow usually remains through June in the Southwest Area, which is best for spring snow recreation. View the Visiting in Winter page for more information about snow season recreation and services.

Spring Road Opening

Snow clearing on the park highway (which closes to through traffic in the snowy, winter season) begins in the Manzanita Lake Area in late March or early April. It take two months on average to clear and open the 30-mile park highway. The snow clearing process is largely dependent on the depth of the winter snowpack and spring weather. View previous highway opening dates and current road clearing progress on the spring road clearing page.

Hike and Bike the Highway

Each spring, visitors are encouraged to hike and bike sections of the park highway once they are cleared of snow and before they open to vehicles. Leashed pets are welcome on pavement; please clean up after your pet. View a map of road clearing progress/status to see which sections will be open during your visit.

Services and Lodging

Information, supplies, food, and gifts are available only at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center November through mid-May. The visitor center is open Wednesday through Sunday, November through April and then daily May through October. The Loomis Museum, Manzanita Lake Camper Store, and Manzanita Lake Camping Cabins open in mid-May. Drakesbad Guest Ranch opens in early June, reservations are required and are often booked up to a year in advance for overnight stays.

Hiking

While most of Lassen remains snow-covered through May and into June, some hikes in the Manzanita Lake and Butte Lake Areas can be snow-free by May, and most are usually snow-free by sometime in June. However, as in winter, backpacking options are very limited.

Camping

The Southwest Campground is open year-round. When snow is on the ground (approximately December to June), visitors can camp on the snow or in a vehicle in the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center parking area. The Manzanita Lake Campground opens mid-May, depending on snow depth. Additional campgrounds open throughout June, as conditions allow. Outside the park, lower elevation campgrounds in the surrounding Lassen National Forest open as early as late-April and early-May.

Last updated: January 4, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 100
Mineral, CA 96063

Phone:

(530) 595-4480

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