Visiting in Winter

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Duration:
4 minutes, 4 seconds

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.

Winter Guide

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).

Southwest Area
Located five miles north of the SR-36 and SR-89 junction. Steep slopes and sweeping vistas abound in the Southwest Area of the park. Beginning at 6,700 feet elevation, this area receives the most snow. The year-round visitor center here is an excellent first stop for new winter explorers.

Sulphur Works is the only hydrothermal area accessible in the winter season and is accessed via a two-mile, over-the-snow route from the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center. The highway into Southwest Area may close temporarily due to severe weather/heavy snowfall.

Manzanita Lake Area
Located two miles south of the SR-44 and SR-89 junction in the northwest corner of the park. The Manzanita Lake Area (5,800 elevation) consists of gentle slopes and scenic lakes. It offers the easiest routes for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the park.

Activities

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).

Visitor Centers

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.

Weather

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.

Snowpack

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.

Services

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.

 
A table containing information about services in the winter. Available in computer readable format in the Winter Guide.
This winter services table is also available in the Winter Guide.
 
Map of Southwest Area including visitor center, parking area, campground, and highway
Southwest Area Winter Map

Last updated: January 3, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 100
Mineral, CA 96063

Phone:

(530) 595-4480

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