Over-the-snow adventure is seemingly endless in the winter season. Many first-time visitors simply enjoy the sights and sounds of winter from the year-round visitors. For those prepared for winter recreation opportunities abound. Be sure to bring your own equipment, there are no rentals available in the park.
Plan a Winter Visit: Learn more about areas to visit, services, and more on the planning a winter visit to the park.
Winter EtiquetteImprove everyone's safety and enjoyment by adhering to the following winter etiquette recommendations:
Do not walk on ski tracks. Footprints and snowshoe tracks create hazards that make skiing more difficult.
Snowshoe parallel to the ski track. Using a separate track ensures snowshoers remain clear of downhill skiers.
Yield to faster skiers or downhill traffic. Step to the side to allow skiers traveling downhill to safely pass. In all other cases, yield to those traveling uphill, as they are working harder and have the right of way.
The steep slopes in the Southwest Area of the park, near the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, are popular with experienced sledders. Be sure to choose a slope that is right for your group and the conditions. Sledding is the number one cause of visitor injury in the winter season. Each winter rangers treat and evacuate sledders with head and spine injuries, lacerations, and broken bones. Icy snow creates very fast sledding conditions and trees and rocks abound in this area. Eskimo Hill, located north of the park in Lassen National Forest, is also a popular sledding area.
Bring your own equipment and enjoy Lassen's vast winter wonderland. If you're new to snowshoeing, considering joining a free ranger-led snowshoe walk offered on weekends in the winter; snowshoes are provided for the program only. The Manzanita Lake Area and the snow-covered Park Highway Route offer gradual climbs with limited avalanche danger, however avalanche terrain exists at the upper end of the Manzanita Creek trail near Loomis Peak. Numerous routes out of the Southwest Area offer trails of greater difficulty, many with spectacular winter views. Most of the primary snowshoe routes in the southwest area pass through frequent avalanche terrain.
Visit Sulphur Works Hyrothermal Area
Sulphur Works hydrothermal area is accessible via a two-mile round-trip route along the snow-covered park highway. The hydrothermal features are visible year-round due to the high temperatures of steam vents, mudpots and boiling springs. Be sure to maintain a safe distance from hydrothermal features. Visitors have been severely burned by hot mud and water.
The Southwest Walk-in Campground is open year-round. Tents are allowed only in the campground area. Camping in a vehicle is permitted in the adjacent parking area with fee. Vehicles must park between the islands in the parking area to allow for snow plowing operations. Self-registration is located at the Southwest Entrance Station. Self-contained barbecues are allowed in the paved parking area. Please do not dump ashes onto the ground or on the snow, please take wet, cooled ashes back with you or dispose of properly. Fires and fire pans are not permitted.
Cross-country SkiingThe snow-covered park highway is best for beginner to immediate cross-country skiers and can be accessed from the northwest or southwest entrances. Just south of the park, the McGowan Cross-Country Ski Area in Lassen National Forest also provides additional routes; pets are permitted on Forest Service trails and routes.
Lassen's backcountry is recommended only for experienced backcountry skiers and snowboarders. Backcountry travel at Lassen requires entering avalanche terrain. Backcountry users should be avalanche aware, carry avalanche gear, and know how to use it. Lassen does not provide an avalanche forecast for the park. Forecasts for neighboring areas are available from Mt. Shasta Avalanche Center and Sierra Avalanche Center (Lake Tahoe area).
Backcountry travel at Lassen requires entering avalanche terrain. Backcountry users should be avalanche aware, carry avalanche gear, and know how to use it. Lassen does not provide an avalanche forecast for the park. Forecasts for neighboring areas are available from Mt. Shasta Avalanche Center and Sierra Avalanche Center (Lake Tahoe area). View the Lassen Avalanche Awareness Guide (pdf, 511KB) and Lassen Avalanche Terrain Map (jpg, 3.3MB).
Last updated: December 9, 2019