Welcome Spring with a visit to Lassen Volcanic National Park or any other national park during National Park Week, April 15 through 23. “Spring skiing and snowshoeing at Lassen Volcanic National Park are wonderful ways to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful snow covered mountains while having lots of fun,” stated Acting Superintendent Martha Crusius.
There will also be free entrance to all national parks during the weekends of National Park Week. Lassen is one of the 118 National Park Service sites that normally charge entrance fees and will offer free admission on April 15, 16, 22, and 23. There are also free or reduced rate annual passes available for active duty military families, fourth grade students, senior citizens, volunteers, and people with permanent disabilities. National Park Week starts with National Junior Ranger Day on April 15. Throughout the country, kids of all ages can take part in family-friendly events and earn a park-specific Junior Ranger badge.
The spring season is also the time that park road crews start the annual job of plowing the 30-miles of highway through the park in order to open for the summer season. They will begin on April 10 at the north side of the park and clear to the Devastated Area, then move to the Southwest Entrance to work on the deep snowpack that has accumulated in the higher elevations.
Lassen Volcanic National Park has more snow this winter compared to the past several winters. April of 1983 was the deepest recorded snow depth for Lassen and measured 331 inches. The April 2017 snow survey at the Lake Helen location measured 243.5 inches, which is currently the deepest snowpack in California. “All that snow means that some of the park’s hiking trails will remain snowy well into the summer months,” said Crusius. High elevation trails such as Lassen Peak, Kings Creek Falls, and Bumpass Hell will most likely hold quite a bit of snow until July. Park roads could also have late openings. On average, the Lassen National Park Highway opens in mid-June. Since 1980, the latest opening of the highway through the park was on July 12, 1995. That year, the April snow survey measured 287 inches. Much depends on how many more storms will drop significant amounts of snow in April and May. Highway opening progress updates and hiking trail conditions are listed on the park website’s current conditions page.
All visitors should also be prepared for a range of weather conditions – check the most recent weather forecast, dress in layers, and carry food and water. Stow a shovel, extra blankets and tire chains in your vehicle in case unexpected winter road conditions delay your travel. The Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, please contact the park at 530-595-4480 or firstname.lastname@example.org.