Lower than average snowfall allows Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway to open earlier than usual. Visitors can access the route May 17. Photo courtesy of LVNP

Lassen Volcanic National Park Hwy opens May 17; busy season expected

Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway will open to through traffic on Monday, May 17. Butte Lake and is currently open. Spring road clearing progressed quickly this year as a result of lower-than-average snowpack and limited spring snowstorms. Visitors should always check conditions before traveling to the park, as the park highway may close unexpectedly, especially during the spring shoulder season.

“The opening of the park highway marks the start of what is likely to be a busy summer and fall season,” said Superintendent Jim Richardson. “Visitors are continuing to discover that Lassen Volcanic National Park provides outstanding opportunities for close-to-home outdoor recreation and relaxation.”

Lassen Volcanic saw a record high 542,000 visitors in 2020, despite a two-month service-wide closure in response to COVID-19. Visitors can make this year’s visit more enjoyable by being prepared for busy parking areas, hiking trails, and campgrounds. Parking areas and trailheads are generally less busy in the morning and late afternoons and on weekdays. Campsite reservations are highly recommended, and most campsites are now reservable.

Manzanita Lake Campground, cabins and Camper Store open May 21. A handful of walk-in campsites at the year-round Southwest Campground are snow-free. Additional campground opening dates include June 4 – Butte Lake and Warner Valley; June 11- Lost Creek Group;  and June 25 – Summit Lake and Juniper Lake. Learn more about camping in the park at go.nps.gov/lavo/camp.

The Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center is open daily, 9 am to 5 pm. Masks are currently required inside the visitor center and all park facilities; the NPS is working to determine how the new CDC mask guidance will be applied in parks. Park auditoriums are currently closed; however, the park film is available on the park website. Loomis Museum will be open Friday through Sunday, May 22 through June 21 and then daily beginning June 22.

Trails in the higher-elevation areas of the park remain snow-covered. This includes, but is not limited to, Lassen Peak, Brokeoff Mountain, Kings Creek Falls, and Summit Lake Area trails. Bumpass Hell Trail remains under seasonal closure due to snow hazards. Snow is disappearing quickly from trails in lower elevations areas including Manzanita Lake and Butte Lake. View current trail conditions at go.nps.gov/lavo/hike.

Plan your visit to Lassen Volcanic with the new NPS Mobile App. The new official app is available for iOS and Android devices and offers tools to explore more than 400 national parks nationwide. Content for individual parks can be downloaded for offline use. Be sure to save Lassen Volcanic for offline use before visiting; Internet access is extremely limited in the park. Learn more at go.nps.gov/app.

Lassen Volcanic National Park offers virtual content for people who are not traveling at this time. Visit go.nps.gov/lavo/virtual to view webcams, 360-degree photos, videos, and more.