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Join Ranger Amanda on an exploration of winter in the Southwest Area of Lassen Volcanic National Park. Learn what there is to do and how to come prepared for a safe and enjoyable visit.
Plan a Winter Visit: December - March
Winter is a season of snow and solitude. Vehicle access is limited, but over-the-snow adventure is seemingly endless. View current conditions.
View or print the park Winter Guide (3.2 MB, pdf), a comprehensive resource for planning a winter visit.
Areas to Visit
The Manzanita Lake and Southwest Areas of the park are accessible throughout the winter season. Be prepared for winter driving by carrying tire chains and keeping a full tank of gas (the nearest station is 30 miles away).
Many first-time visitors simply enjoy the sights and sounds of winter from the year-round visitor center. For those prepared for winter recreation, opportunities include sledding, snow play, attending a ranger-led snowshoe walk (January through March), cross-country skiing, and backcountry skiing/snowboarding. Plan on leaving your pet at home or in your vehicle, as pets are not permitted on trails or snow-covered routes (including the park highway).
The Kohm Yah-mah-ee Visitor Center is open 9 am to 5 pm year-round. The center is open Wednesday through Sunday November through April. The visitor center may close at any time due to inclement weather. The Loomis Museum is closed through the winter.
Sunny skies are common between short (1 to 3 day) snow storms. Temperatures in the Manzanita Lake Area (5,800 ft) range from 55 to 12 degrees. Temperatures in the Southwest Area (6,700) are usually about 5 to 10 degrees cooler. Expect a 5° temperature decrease for every 1,000 foot increase in elevation. View the weather forecast for each area prior to your visit.
Lassen Volcanic National Park receives as much as 30 feet of snow in its winter season. The resulting snowpack often lasts more than half of the year (approximately November to June). View current snow depths or learn about how and why park snowpack is measured.
Winter services are available in the Southwest Area of the park. The Southwest Campground is open year-round. Parking, restrooms, and water are available in the Loomis Plaza in the Manzanita Lake Area. Equipment rentals are not available in the park. Snowshoe and/or ski rentals may be available in Mineral, Chester, Redding, Susanville, or Chico. View the table below for more information.
Last updated: January 3, 2020