Lassen Volcanic National Park, 21820 Lassen Peak Hwy, Mineral, CA
RSVP Note: Please add yourself to the waitlist only if you are reasonably sure to attend it if added. You will not be added if you have had a history of last minute cancellations or no-shows.
You can either snowshoe OR ski with backpack from the parking lot to Helen lake. Optionally attempt Lassen Peak on Day 2.
This event is subject to weather conditions.
Location: Lassen National Park
Weather: Lassen Weather Forecast
Technical difficulty: Non-technical. Winter grade - 1, Summer grade - Not applicable
Skills required: Backpacking, snowshoeing or skiing (6+ miles) on gentle inclines, camping (summer or winter)
Trail condition: Snow covered summer road to Helen Lake
Distance / Gain: see itinerary
Toilet: At the trailhead / visitor center parking lot
Permits: Lassen National Park Wilderness permits required, will be taken care of by event host
Additional for OPTIONAL Lassen Peak attempt on day 2:
Technical difficulty: Non-technical, Winter grade - 2
Skills required: Use of Ice-axe, ability to self arrest, glissade down
Snow chain rules may be in full effect in Lassen National Park.
Directions: Google Driving directions
Long drive from Los Angeles, so based on your plans you may choose to stay at a motel on i-5
Entrance fee: Entrance fee of $20 per car (interagency pass accepted)
What to bring & wear: General lists - Backpacking Equipment List and Day Hike Equipment List. Since this is a winter trip you will also need - Snowshoes or skies, hiking poles with snow baskets. Crampons, helmet for summit attempt. Also recommended are snow goggles, 4 season tent (or very sturdy 3 season tent), ice-axe.
Lassen is known to have high winds, mostly because there are no other high peaks nearby (closest is Shasta, far away north). This is evident by the snow / branches on mostly one side of all exposed trees above 8000'. Tents will have to be secured well at night as well.
Food: Suitable backpacking food for Saturday & Sunday.
Car camping option for Friday night (on your own): At the campground next to visitor center
Day 1 (Saturday February 4): *To Helen Lake*. Meet at visitor center / trailhead parking lot (6700'). Backpack 6.5 miles to Helen Lake (8164'). Set up camp for the night. Optinal evening snowshoe/ski to Bumpass Hell saddle to view the hot springs. Distance / gain for the day: ~6.5 miles / 1500' accumulated with backpack & snowshoes
Day 2 (Sunday February 5): *From Helen Lake*. Optional early morning summit attempt of Lassen peak (10457' - 1.5 miles / 2300' gain from Helen lake to summit). Head back to trailhead. Distance / gain for the day: 6.5 miles / 200' accumulated with backpack & snowshoes
Note: It may be very windy just below the summit of Lassen peak, in which case we will turn back. This was the case during my summit attempt in February 2016.
Above: Sulphur springs near the visitor center, enroute to Helen lake
Above: Summer road, winter snowshoe/ski trail
Above: Camping (Picnic) area at Helen lake. Perfectly flat is the frozen lake surface. In Feb 2016 we camped with ~20ft of snow below us.
Above: Bumpass Hell hot springs
Above: AMAZING sunset backdrop for Lassen peak
Above: Winds, you say:)
To lift people up through hiking.
We're volunteers: Your hike leaders receive no monetary nor in-kind compensation of any kind for organizing this event.
Waiting list priority: People who hike with with US Hiking regularly will be given priority when they are on the waiting list.
Advanced hikes: Anyone interested in participating in advanced hikes (>3,000' elevation gain or distance > 10 miles or Difficulty Level > = 7) will be subject to prescreening before his/her name will be added to the list. Therefore, interested hiker must share with the event host his/her recent hiking background to establish proficiency before his/her name will be added to the list. Guests are not allowed on advanced hikes.
Early departure: If a hiker needs to be separated from the group for any reason, he/she must inform the event host. Not knowing a hiker's where about may prompt the event host to report a hiker's missing to proper authority for further actions.
No show: If you sign up for an event but did not show up, you will be removed from the next event you sign up.
If you have prior medical condition or a family history of illnesses pertaining to heart, lungs, brain, etc. that can be aggravated by heat and physical exertion, this is not the hike for you.
If you have never done a hike of this distance or difficulty before, this hike will be very difficult for you. It may well be your death march. The mountain is not going anywhere. We will schedule this event again in the future. Do it when your mind and body are ready.
Hiking is a recreation, not a suicide mission.
Release of Liability:
The organizer (me) of this trip is a volunteer and is not a professional guide. The function of the organizer is only to organize this trip. Each person who signs up for a trip/hike/or outing is responsible for his or her own safety and the safety of his or her guests.
By signing up for this trip, or any other event organized by me, you are acknowledging that you are aware and have made your guests aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with any outdoor activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the organizer (me) of this hike from and against any and all liability arising from your and your guest's participation in the group activities.
US Hiking, its organizer, assistant organizers, event organizers are not responsible for any injuries or accidents that may occur carpooling to and from this event, or for any injuries or accidents incurred before, during, and after this event. If you sign up or participate in an event you acknowledge that you freely and voluntarily agree to assume all risks of injuries and damages arising from, as a result of and associated with this event.
By participating in this event, you and your guests acknowledge that you have read US Hiking Liability Wavier, fully understand its terms, understand that by participating in this event, you and your guests have given up substantial rights freely and voluntarily without any inducement.
In search of my next big adventure, always!