The bears in Lassen Volcanic National Park are continuing to steal food from backpackers, and that’s the reason why park’s officials have expanded a backcountry camping closure in attempt to eliminate bear-related incidents.
On July 10, park officials announced a backcountry camping closure in the Twin and Rainbow Lakes area of the park due to bear activity. In the following week, officials have decided to expand that closure as bear activity continues to be on the rise. According to backpackers in the area, a black bear boldly searched campsites and gear even as backpackers yelled and made loud noises.
The camping closure includes the area east of Hat Creek, the park highway, and Kings Creek, but does not include developed campgrounds including Butte, Juniper or Summit Lake. Here’s a map of the closure, which now includes the areas surrounding Cinder Cone and the Painted Dunes:
Hiking is still permitted in the area of the closure, but camping is strictly prohibited. Anyone visiting the area should be bear aware and keep their packs and any food supplies at arms length.
While most of the closures sit in the east side of the park, here is a list of alternative destinations on the west side:
- Manzanita Creek Trail (7 mi) – Trailhead at the entrance of the Manzanita Campground D Loop
- Ridge Lakes (2 mi)
- Shadow Lake (3.2 mi)
- Paradise Meadow via Hat Creek (2.8)
- Forest Lake via Brokeoff Mountain Trail (2.4)
- Twin (6.6) or Conard (4.2) Meadows via Kings Creek Picnic Area Trailhead
- Spencer Meadow via the Lassen National Forest Spencer Meadow Trail (8.5)
- Conard Meadow via Mill Creek Falls Trail
- Sifford Lakes via Kings Creek Trailhead (up to 6 mi)
- Drake Lake via Warner Valley Trailhead (5 mi)