Summer Season Unfolds at Lassen Volcanic National Park Amidst Lingering Winter Conditions and Recovery from Dixie Fire

Highways and Road Conditions

Lassen Volcanic National Park, situated in Northern California, is now accessible to visitors with the opening of its 30-mile highway for the summer season. Even though the winter chill might still be felt in certain areas, thanks to the unusually high snowpack this year, the commendable efforts of the National Park Service and Caltrans road crews have ensured the full clearance of the road.

However, visitors should be prepared for possible intermittent closures and potential delays due to both repair works on the highway and any unforeseen inclement weather. Therefore, checking weather forecasts before setting off on your journey is strongly recommended. Among the park’s inner road network, Butte Lake Road is operational, while Warner Valley Road is currently limited to bikers and hikers. Juniper Lake Road, unfortunately, remains shut at the park boundary due to the hazards created by the aftermath of the Dixie Fire.

Potential Traffic and Repair Works

During winter, a section of Highway 89 at Sulphur Works, which is situated approximately a mile north of the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, suffered some damage. Consequently, 30 feet of the sidewalk in this vicinity collapsed, resulting in undermining portions of the road. To manage traffic and ensure safety, only a single lane is functional in this area, regulated by automatic traffic signals. Hence, both vehicular and pedestrian visitors should expect delays and exercise caution. This repair work is scheduled to start in September.

Trail and Campsite Availability

Currently, several trails at higher altitudes within the park, including the renowned Lassen Peak and Brokeoff Mountain, remain cloaked in snow. The popular Bumpass Hell Trail is also under seasonal closure due to persistent snow and ice. For the most recent trail conditions, visitors are encouraged to refer to the designated park page.

The opening of several campgrounds has been delayed owing to snow, damage from the snow, and the presence of hazardous trees. The ones that are open to the public include Manzanita Lake Campground, its cabins, and the Camper Store, as well as Butte Lake Campground. The Summit Lake and Warner Valley sites are undergoing safety evaluations and will open when they meet safety criteria. Reservations are mandatory for all camping and backpacking activities and can be arranged via recreation.gov.

In light of the ongoing recovery from the devastating Dixie Fire, Juniper Lake Campground will be off-limits for the entirety of the 2023 season. Similarly, the Drakesbad Guest Ranch in Warner Valley will remain closed for the entire season due to the same reason.

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