An area in Lassen Volcanic National Park is closed to backcountry camping due to black bear(s) obtaining food from campers. The closure extends one mile in all directions from the following lakes frequently accessed from Summit Lake Trailhead: Echo, Upper Twin, Lower Twin, Swan, and Rainbow Lake.
At least one black bear has obtained improperly stored food and/or scented items from backcountry campers. After multiple incidents, one or more bears have learned to associate humans and their equipment with a food reward. The bear has also been unresponsive to hazing by hikers. In one incident the bear boldly searched a campsite and gear undeterred by backpackers yelling and making loud noises nearby.
The closure is in place for 60 days to reduce negative human and bear interactions and provide the bear(s) with a period to return to normal foraging behavior before further action is required. The closure does not apply to hiking or stock use, however users are encouraged to exercise caution and be bear aware. Additional information and a map of the closure area are available at go.nps.gov/lavo/regulations.
All visitors can protect themselves and park wildlife by being bear aware. When hiking in the park: never leave your pack unattended, make noise to avoid surprising a bear, and be particularly alert for bear activity when near streams or vegetation. If you come upon a bear, walk away slowly―never run or drop your pack. More information about black bears and bear safety is available at nps.gov/lavo/bears.
Backpackers are required to store all food and scented items in an approved, bear-resistant storage container while in the park. Canisters are available for rent at the Loomis Museum or Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center during business hours. Backpackers can view a list of containers certified by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) or learn more about backpacking regulations at go.nps.gov/lavo/backpacking.
Lassen Volcanic is home to a population of approximately 30 black bears; there are no brown or grizzly bears in the park. Information about black bears in the park is provided in large part by visitor-submitted wildlife sighting reports. Please report wildlife sightings, especially any threatening behavior, to a park employee or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visitors are also highly encouraged to continue to recreate safely by following California State guidance, practicing Leave No Trace principles, avoiding crowding, and avoiding high-risk outdoor activities. Learn more about how you can recreate responsibly at Lassen Volcanic at go.nps.gov/lavo/RR.