Lassen Volcanic National Park Main Road Opens

Sunday, July 31 2011 19:43   California
The main road into Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California is open for through traffic, marking the end of what has been a long 2011 winter and late spring.

"The park road crew and Caltrans have cleared snow along the 30 mile highway through the park, road turnouts, and trailhead parking areas," Park Superintendent Darlene M. Koontz said in late July. "We are happy to have this primary access to Lassen National Park open for our summer visitors. This year's heavy snowfall seemed to come later this winter and spring, which extended the time it took to open the road."

park_road_near_lake_helenSkiing and snowshoeing on Lassen Peak ended the weekend of July 15.

The popular Lassen Peak Trail is open the first 1.3 miles to the ‘Grandview' location and only over-snow travel on skis and snowshoes to the summit. Closure of this route at anytime is possible throughout the season, however.

Trail crews have begun work to rehabilitate Lassen Peak Trail for the second season of the Reach the Peak project.

As of the end of July, many of the park trails still had snow coverage, including Bumpass Hell and Brokeoff Mountain trails. Hikers will find that travel in snow-covered areas requires sturdy hiking boots and trekking poles. Higher elevations in the mornings tend to be icy and may require an ice axe, crampons and helmet for safety.

In the afternoons, snow-covered areas can become slushy and slippery which can make hiking difficult and hazardous. Kings Creek Falls trail is not accessible due to snow and the trail to Dream Lake is closed to the public due to the restoration project currently underway in that area.

For those visitors wishing to avoid snowy areas, they will enjoy hiking along trails in the Manzanita Lake, Warner Valley and Butte Lake areas.

One hike frequently overlooked is Cinder Cone volcano trail which begins along Fantastic Lava Beds and opens up with views of the Painted Dunes, Snag Lake and Lassen Peak.

All campgrounds in the park, except for the Summit Lake and Juniper Lake campgrounds, are now open. Rangers anticipate that these remaining campgrounds will open by early August. The road to Juniper Lake is still snow covered and not passable by automobiles.

The Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center and Loomis Museum are open daily and visitors will find concession-run facilities at the visitor center's Lassen Café & Gifts, Manzanita Lake Camper Store & Cabins and Drakesbad Guest Ranch in full operation.

For more information, please contact the park at (530) 595-4480, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. or visit the park website at


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