It likely will be the weekend before traffic can traverse Lassen Volcanic National Park, as deep snow continues to cover portions of the main road, according to park officials.
Park Superintendent Darlene M. Koontz says road crews have cleared snow beyond the Lassen Peak parking area and are proceeding downhill towards Kings Creek Meadows.
“We anticipated snow removal in this downhill section at the rate experienced in past years, and along this portion of the road we normally have less than ten feet, but there are depths of 12 to 15 feet, which has increased the time to finish clearing snow off the remaining six miles of roadway,” the superintendent said Friday.
The scenic park road is open 12 miles to the Summit Lake Area from the Manzanita Lake Entrance and 7 miles to the Bumpass Hell Trailhead parking area from the Southwest Entrance. Parking at these closures is somewhat limited and RVs and trailers are being advised not to go beyond the Devastated Area on the north side as turnaround space is limited.
The first 1.3 miles of the popular Lassen Peak Trail is open to the ‘Grandview’ location, and over-snow travel on skis and snowshoes is required for those wishing to reach the summit. The over-snow travel will be challenging for those wishing to reach the summit, according to a park release. Hikers will find that to climb Lassen Peak they might need to have an ice axe, crampons, and helmet for their safety, the release added.
Elsewhere in the park many trails still are snow covered, including Bumpass Hell Trail, but visitors can enjoy hiking along trails in the Manzanita Lake, Warner Valley and Butte Lake areas.
All campgrounds in the park, except for the Summit Lake and Juniper Lake campgrounds, are now open. Park officials anticipate that these remaining campgrounds will open in the next couple of weeks.
The road to Juniper Lake also 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.