Staff members of the Lassen Volcanic National Park are officially back to work, for now. With the enactment of the continuing (albeit, temporary) resolution keeping the federal government shutdown away for another couple of weeks; the park is resuming full winter operations.
Park superintendent Jim Richardson said, “Visitors can continue to enjoy the numerous feet of snow in the park that has fallen in the past few weeks. Lassen appreciates the work of Caltrans and selected park road crew (members) who maintained access to the park despite heavy snowfall.”
The Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center opened Jan. 27 and returned to its operating schedule from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m Wednesday through Sunday. The Loomis Museum is closed for the winter season. The unpaved road off of Highway 44 to Butte Lake, the road to Warner Valley off of Highway 36 in Chester and the paved road to Juniper Lake off Highway 36 north of Chester are all currently closed.
According to the National Park Service website, as of Jan. 27, Manzanita Lake accrued 29 inches of snow, the southwest entrance gained approximately eight feet of snow.
Most trails were inaccessible by vehicle due to road closures. Regardless, winter routes have varying depths of snow accumulation, usually requiring the use of snowshoes or skis. Also, not all routes are marked.
If preferred, ranger-led snowshoe walks are now available for free (a small monetary donation for snowshoe repair and maintenance is suggested) Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. through March 31. However, the walks are subject to cancellation due to winter weather conditions at the last minute.
Access is open via the park highway to the Manzanita Lake area at the north entrance and to the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Center, one mile inside the southwest entrance of the park.
The Southwest campground is open for snow camping or camping in self-contained vehicles with a park entrance fee.
Visitors to the park should be prepared for winter road conditions and are encouraged to check the most recent weather forecast, dress in layers and carry food and water.
Keep a shovel, blankets, extra food and water, as well as tire chains in your vehicle in case snow and ice delay your travels.
For more information on Lassen Volcanic National Park, visit nps.gov/lavo or call the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center at 595-4480.
Lassen National Forest has also commenced their services and shared on their social media they are, “humbled by the support that the community has shown to us over these past few weeks and greatly appreciate all of you. A big thank you to our employees, visitors, partners and local communities for the patience and support during this difficult shutdown.”
Representatives of LNF shared all of its ranger district offices are open and available for those in need of fuel wood tags, passes or just to say hello.