Skiing in the Lassen Backcountry

Lassen National Park in Northern California is home to Lassen Peak which is the southernmost volcano in the Cascade range. It is home to active volcanoes, boiling mud pots, and excellent skiing. Whether you a just starting out or seasoned veteran, you will find some excellent terrain in the Lassen backcountry.

Lassen backcountry with Mt Shasta is in the background.
Lassen backcountry with Mt Shasta is in the background.

The area is ideal for backcountry skiing. It is relatively easy to get to, It’s close to the Humboldt Coast (home), you can camp in the parking lot or the backcountry but most of all the there is such varied terrain. You can choose from the super mellow to the extreme. Kelsey and I found this slope:

Adventure is in the making. A moderate slope in the Lassen backcountry
A moderate slope in the Lassen backcountry

We came across actively boiling mud pots. Checking out geothermal activity firsthand is very rewarding and stinky.

Bubbling mud pots in the Lassen backcountry
Not your typical backcountry hazard: Bubbling mud pots in the Lassen backcountry

It’s important to pick up a map of the area and understand where the geothermal activity is.  In the scene above, it’s obvious this whole area is a hot spot, however,  in other places, it is more localized and it is possible to find it by accident. It is not fun to be boiled.

Location

I put the pin in the above map where you can camp in the parking lot.  It’s a great place to camp because you have 24-hour access to liquid water and heated bathrooms. It’s essentially backcountry ski glamping.

Backcountry glamping
Backcountry glamping

There are also hazards on the drive to Lassen so watch out.

Sign on Black butte Rd.
A sign on Black Butte Rd on the way to the Lassen backcountry. I definitely slowed down.

 

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