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Sulphur Works Snowshoe

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Mount Lassen Volcanic Area, California

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Sulphur Works Snowshoe

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  • Winter parking at the park's southwest entrance.- Sulphur Works Snowshoe
  • Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, often buried by snow, marks the beginning of the trail.- Sulphur Works Snowshoe
  • The park road, usually covered in snow through winter, makes up the trail to Sulphur Works.- Sulphur Works Snowshoe
  • Vistas of snow-covered peaks across the creek.- Sulphur Works Snowshoe
  • Looking down West Sulphur Creek from a bridge that crosses it.- Sulphur Works Snowshoe
  • The rising steam marks the location of the Sulphur Works pools.- Sulphur Works Snowshoe
  • Sulphur Works is a boiling cauldron.- Sulphur Works Snowshoe
  • Sulphur Works.- Sulphur Works Snowshoe
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great for those of intermediate abilities. Excellent views along the climb.
Cons: 
Ski trails tend to be covered in footprint holes from other visitors.
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Region:
Mount Lassen Volcanic Area, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
285.00 ft (86.87 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter
Total Distance: 
2.20 mi (3.54 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
6,768.00 ft (2,062.89 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

Sulphur Works, a collection of fumaroles near Lassen Volcanic National Park's southwest entrance gate, is located just over a mile from the winter parking area up a road that is typically covered with snow during the cold months. The short distance makes the feature an ideal snowshoe and cross-country ski destination for winter visitors. The trail rises nearly 300 feet in elevation over that 1.1-mile distance; however, the gradual incline combined with the scenic trail that follows the path of West Sulphur Creek makes this route good for intermediate levels of skiers.

The area surrounding the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center and the trailhead makes up the park's Southwest Entrance Winter Recreation Area, and it is popular for everyone from beginning snowshoers and sledders to backcountry downhill skiers. But the further you find yourself from the visitor center, the fewer people you'll cross on the trail.

Sulphur Works itself - a feature whose steam you will see and whose sulfurous odor you will almost definitely smell before you actually reach it - is thought to be the active remaining center of Mount Tehama, the old 11,000-foot volcano that once dominated the landscape but has since eroded into a series of slightly shorter peaks.

The gaseous vents bring water to the surface at nearly 190 degrees, where the bubbling hot pots are visible from an adjacent sidewalk before flowing into West Sulphur Creek.

It is possible to continue following the road further into the park as it maintains its gradual grade, or you can turn around here and begin heading back toward the parking area.

There are no benches or amenities along the snowshoe route, though the visitor center's bathrooms and drinking fountains remain open to visitors through the winter.

Note that seemingly solid areas of ground around the Sulphur Works have collapsed beneath the weight of people stepping on it in the past. Remain on the adjacent sidewalks.

Backcountry Safety

Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(3 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(23 within a 30 mile radius)

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