The Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway will officially open to through traffic on Thursday, July 27. “This year’s opening of the highway will be the latest in park records dating back to 1931,” stated Superintendent Jim Richardson. “After four years of drought the park finally had a long winter season of great skiing and a snow pack that has persisted into summer.”
Challenges that delayed opening the highway included equipment repairs, fallen trees and rockslides across the roadway and two of our four heavy equipment operators left their positions for other employment opportunities. “One of the vacant positions has recently been filled, but it has been the assistance Caltrans has provided to help us finally open up the road,” said Richardson. “We are grateful for all their effort to help us complete this operation.”
On Friday, July 21, the Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway will be open from the Southwest Entrance to the Lassen Peak Trailhead parking area and from the Manzanita Lake Entrance to South Summit Lake Campground. Please note, there is very limited parking for day-use at the Summit Lake Campground. Lassen’s Hike & Bike the Highway event will be cancelled this year due to the lateness and the incremental opening of the highway to accommodate visitor access to campsites at South Summit Lake Campground. The North Summit Lake Campground is scheduled to open on July 28 and the Butte Lake Campground will be open to dry camping only for the remainder of the season. Juniper Lake Campground is scheduled to open Friday, July 28, but some sites may not be available due to the wet and muddy conditions that have not had a chance to dry out from the late snowmelt. Please check the park website for updates on park facilities, roads, and trails.
The Lassen Peak Trail is open and most of the trail has melted out. There are still a few sections and switchbacks that are snow-covered and require over-snow travel. The park trail crew has marked these areas with wands to keep hikers on the trail route. It is also recommended that hikers use trekking poles to traverse these areas of snow since they become soft and slippery during daylight hours. The Bumpass Hell trail remains closed due to snow. Many other trails at lower elevations are clear of snow and available for hiking.
The Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center and Loomis Museum are open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, please visit the website www.nps.gov/lavo or contact the park at 530-595-4480 or firstname.lastname@example.org.