Visit Lassen Volcanic National Park in the winter !!

== If you want to get out for a weekend and if snow/cold/ice fascinates you, Lassen Volcanic National Park is your best bet ==


== Given the dry year in California, Lassen NP has real snow. With fresh powdery snow, snow-shoeing, cross-country ,alpine skiing, and winter camping are at its best without the crowd. ==


== Yes, a weekend trip from bay-area is possible. We drove out early morning, with a quick stop at the town of Chico for brunch. It was just us and a boys-scout of 20 people that camped at the only open campground at the Southwest campground. For more details on campsite availability, check the park website. ==


== After two layers of clothing, two thick pairs of socks, winter grade sleeping bag and sleeping pad, it was still freezing cold. And I barely slept. Wonder if i need another layer of sleeping bag to survive a 23F night with wind. ==


== On weekends there is a ranger-led snow-shoeing walk for a couple of miles at 1:30PM. We learned a lot about the park’s volcanic activity, and trail conditions, and I recommend taking this walk if its your first time to the park. ==


== Next day morning after a cup of hot coffee, instant oatmeal, we broke the tent and walked about 2.5-miles to see Lassen Peak, through snow. This trail is shared with skiers and from what we could see, there was at least one person who has gone up. ==


== By noon, we started driving out to the Northern entrance of the park through Shingletown. Typically, the road within the park will take you to northern entrance. But, due to snow conditions, the road is not accessible. We stopped for pizza at Shingletown. There was no dining options available at Mineral besides a small diner that only served breakfast. So, plan your food ahead of time. ==


== Northern part of the park is known for the post-card pictures of the snowy peaks. Visitor center at north was closed and the road was open for about 10-miles into the park. We drove through to get this stunning view of the mountains (picture above). ==


== At the entrance, there is a small trail that leads to the Manzanita Lake. We stayed till sunset to take it all in. ==