The gateway for winter recreation in Lassen Volcanic National Park, the southwest entrance area offers accessible winter terrain and a diversity of family-friendly winter activities within a spectaluar National Park setting. Located at 6,700 feet in elevation, the southwest entrance typically sees more snow than the Manzanita Lake entrance found on the north side of the park. While this area is often buried deep in snow late into spring, the park here remains accessible throughout the winter thanks to the regular snowplowing of Highway 89, the park entrance road, up to the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center.
With hilly and mountainous terrain in nearly all directions, the southwest entrance is well suited for sledding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and backcountry ski touring. Families and sledders will enjoy the hills close to the visitor center, while snowshoers and cross-country skiers will be drawn up the snow-covered Lassen Park Road. The road gradually climbs toward Lassen Peak, 7 miles away and remains snow coered throughout winter. You need not travel that far, however, to encounter some of the park’s winter wonders.
A short mile up the road are the Sulphur Works, where you can see geothermal activity in boiling water pools and fumaroles dotting the landscape, a unique contrast to a wintertime backdrop. In addition to Lassen Peak, a number of picturesque peaklets rise above the southwest entrance. Brokeoff Mountain and Mount Diller are exciting ski objectives, and winter backcountry camping is accessible at Ridge Lakes.
Graciously, the National Park Service is kind enough to keep open the vestibule of the visitor center building day and night, throughout the winter, with heated restrooms and potable water available. Winter camping is also permitted at the Southwest Walk-in Campground adjacent to the parking lot. RVs and trailers may also stay overnight (camping fees apply).