LASSEN VOLCANIC NATIONAL PARK – The first 1.3 miles of the popular Lassen Peak trail opened Friday following a 10-day helicopter operation to haul rocks to the mountainside.
The remaining 1.2 miles – from the Grandview area to the 10,457-foot summit – are scheduled to remain closed until Sept. 29 while work continues to rebuild steps and reinforce training walls.
The park had hoped to have the full trail open by Labor Day. An Aug. 28, snowfall shut down helicopter operations for a few days, said public information officer Karen Haner.
“It’s not unusual to have a snow event in August,” she said. “We know that the peak is unpredictable.”
Photos courtesy Karen Haner, Lassen Volcanic National Park
The park contracted with Swanson Group Aviation in Oregon to do the lifts, which began after the trail and its parking lot were closed Aug. 21. The original contract with Swanson was for $240,000, Haner said. The operation is part of a five-year, $2.4 million restoration project dubbed “Reach the Peak.”
During the 10 days, a Type 1 helicopter carried more than 2.2 million pounds of rock in 705 round trips from the Lassen Peak parking area to holding areas on the mountain, park officials said. The rocks came from the Hat Creek Quarry.
For updates on the project and trail closure, visit www.nps.gov/lavo.
-Candace L. Brown has been a magazine and newspaper journalist since 1992. She lives in Redding and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.