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A mostly dry and warm November at Lassen Volcanic finished with a series of strong winter storms, bringing several feet of snow in a short amount of time. “These storms have brought enough snow to higher elevations that it is necessary to close the main park road for the winter season,” said Lassen Volcanic Superintendent, Jim Richardson. “We want to remind folks that Lassen is an outstanding place to visit during these snowy months, even when the road through the park is closed to vehicles,” Richardson added.
Lassen Park Highway, also known as Highway 89, officially closed on Friday, November 29 this year. As of Sunday, December 1, three feet of snow was reported at the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, which is located at an elevation of 6700’. More snow and freezing temperatures are in the forecast for the remainder of the week.
During the winter the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center is open Wednesdays through Sundays, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. However the visitor center will be open on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January 20, 2020) which is also a fee free day to enter the park, and Washington’s Birthday (February 17, 2020).
“Winter visitors to Lassen enjoy cross-country and backcountry skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing in a beautiful setting. We are happy to continue our ranger-led snowshoe walks on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 pm beginning January 4, 2020 and lasting to March 29, 2020. The park provides snowshoes to participants of the ranger-led walk free of charge,” said Superintendent Richardson. Winter recreationists are reminded that while beautiful, Lassen’s backcountry is prone to avalanches. Proper equipment and training are necessary to safely enjoy winter backcountry excursions in the park.
This time of year visitors to the park should be prepared for winter weather conditions. Check the most recent weather forecast, dress in layers, and carry food and water. Stow a shovel, blankets, extra food, and tire chains in your vehicle in case snow and ice delay your travel.
Winter entrance to the park is $10 between December 1, 2019 and April 15, 2020, and is good for up to 7 days. An annual pass to Lassen Volcanic is $55 and is also accepted at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area.