Oversnow Route Conditions

Season for Winter/Spring Oversnow Routes: November - May

Last updated: 3/29/2024

This page is periodically updated once snow falls, typically from November - May. View current snow depths You may need to reload page to see updates.

NOTE: Snow accumulates on the Lassen National Park Highway throughout the snow season (November - April) necessitating the closure of the road to vehicles. The closure and accumulated snow allows for snow-related recreation such as snowshoing or skiing. This equipment is necessary to explore beyond the main entrances and until the road re-opens to vehicles.

Learn more about spring road clearing operations which affect portions of the highway route.

When selecting a route, please consider:

  • Snow-covered roads and trails in the park are considered winter routes and require snowshoes or skis to enjoy safely. View maps and details of winter routes in the Southwest Area or Manzanita Lake Area.
  • All trails in the park are covered with snow from approximately November - April/May each year. The park does not clear snow on hiking trails.
  • There are no groomed ski routes in the park.
  • Many oversnow routes do not follow summer trails exactly; some summer trails are not recommended as oversnow routes.
  • Pets are not permitted on snow-covered routes or on the snow-covered park road. Leashed pets are permitted in parking areas. They are also permitted on the plowed park road, once it is free of snow.
  • Spring snow clearing operations affects portions of the highway route. Visitors can walk or bike sections of the highway once they are cleared of snow and before they are open to vehicles.
  • Oversnow travel involves risk. Learn more about winter safety including avalanche safety, recreating in a remote area, and route selection.
  • Bumpass Hell Trail is closed thorughout the snowy season. Remote location, steep drop-offs, cornices, difficult access, avalanche terrain, hidden hazards beneath the snow make this trail unsitable for oversnow travel. This trail typically opens for hiking in June or July.
 

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Oversnow Route

Miles (RT)

Difficulty

Condition

Southwest Area Winter Routes | Elevations range from 6,700 feet to 10,457 feet

Park Highway Route
(main park road)

Varies

Varies

Snow-coveredSnowshoes/skis necessary.

Closed section of the Park Highway route from is available for walking or bicycling. Vehicles are not permitted on closed sections of the road. Rockfall and ice are present on portions of the road.

Sulphur Works
(via Hwy Route)

2.0

Beginner

Snow-covered/icy Snowshoes/skis necessary.

Lassen Peak

17.0+

Advanced

Reaching Lassen Peak requires around 17+ miles of travel round trip.
Snow-covered/icy.
Snowshoes/ ski, boot crampons, and ice axe are necessary.

Throughout the snowy season (Nov. - April), the route passes through avalanche terrain. Be avalanche aware. Avalanche gear is highly recommended.
Protect the Lassen Peak Trail; do not cut switchbacks once trail is visible.

Ridge Lakes

4.0

Intermediate

Snow-covered/icy Snowshoes/skis necessary.

Forest Lake

2.4

Intermediate

Snow-covered/icy. Snowshoes/skis necessary.

Brokeoff Mountain

7.0

Advanced

Snow-covered/icy. Snowshoes/skis necessary. Snow depths vary significantly due to exposed slopes and wind-blown snow.

Throughout the snowy season (Nov. - April), the route passes through avalanche terrain. Be avalanche aware. Avalanche gear is highly recommended.

Bumpass Hell - Closed

NOT A WINTER ROUTE. Trail is closed in winter. This trail is closed every winter/spring until free of snow/ice hazards.

Trail typically re-opens in June or July. See trail opening dates from previous years, which are largely affected by snowpack. See summer trail conditions page for more information.

Mill Creek Falls

Snow-covered/icy. Snowshoes/skis advised.

Not advisable as a winter route with substanial snow cover.
Be aware of burn hazards such as standing dead trees.

McGowan Cross-Country Ski Area
Lassen National Forest

Varies

Varies

Snow-covered/icy. Snowshoes/skis necessary.
Check website for more information.
Be aware of burn hazards such as standing dead trees.

Manzanita Lake Area Winter Routes | Elevation range:5,600 feet - 8,530 feet

Park Highway Route
(main park road)

Varies

Intermediate

The road from the Looomis Plaza to Devastated area is cleared of winter snow accumulation. The road is not open to vehicle use, but is open for pedestrian or bicycles. Note that ice and new spring snowfall may be on the road.

Reflection Lake Loop

0.5

Beginner

Minimal snow coverage. Boot spikes are advised.

Manzanita Lake Campground Loop

1.8

Beginner

The use of snowshoes or boot spikes may be necessary.

Manzanita Lake Loop

1.8

Beginner

As spring advances, snow pack will reduce on exposed portions of the lake trail. Some areas may be icy. Other portions may have deeper snow pack. The use of snowshoes or boot spikes may be necessary.

Chaos Crags Route

4.0

Intermediate

The use of snowshoes is necessary. Snow depths vary significatly due to areas of exposed slopes and wind-blown snow.

Nobles Emigrant Route

5.2

Intermediate

The use of snowshoes or boot spikes may be necessary. Snow depths are variable in the spring.

Manzanita Creek

7.5

Intermediate

The use of snowshoes or skis is necessary.

Butte Lake Area | Elevation range:6,100 feet - 8,338 feet. Road closed to vehicle access during the snow season.

Butte Lake Road

6.0

Road closed to vehicles access. Snow mobiles are not permitted.
Road clearing opeartions have begun. A portion of the road will not necessitate the use of skis or snowshoes. Snowshoes would likely be useful on the uncleared portion of the road.

Warner Valley Area | Elevation range: 5,600 feet - 7,408 feet. Road closed to vehicle access during the snow season.

Warner Valley Road

6.0

Road is closed to vehicle access. Snow mobiles are not permitted. The use of snowshoes, skis is necessary.
Be aware of burn hazards such as standing dead trees.

Juniper Lake Area | Elevation range: 6,700 feet - 8,048 feet. Road closed to vehicle access during the snow season.

Juniper Lake Road

4.0

Road closed to vehicles access. Snow mobiles are not permitted. The use of snowshoes, skis is necessary.
Be aware of burn hazards such as standing dead trees.

 

Not Recommended for Oversnow Travel

Some summer trails are not recommended for oversnow travel due to hazards including terrain, avalanche danger, and hydrothermal hazards.

  • Mill Creek Falls Trail: Due to hazards created from the Dixie Fire, difficulty navigating with snow on the ground, this trail is not advised in the winter. Sections of the trail cross a steep slope above Mill Creek and are not ideal for oversnow travel. Burned Area Safety - Lassen Volcanic National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)
  • Bumpass Hell Hydrothermal Area: In addition to requiring nearly 7 miles of one-way travel on the highway route, the summer trail traverses steep slopes above Little Hot Springs Valley which is not safe for oversnow travel. Bumpass Hell Trail remains CLOSED until the trail is snow-free due to these snow/ice hazards.

Last updated: March 29, 2024

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PO Box 100
Mineral, CA 96063

Phone:

530 595-4480

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