Drought? What drought? With all the snowfall in the Sierras this year, it’s hard to believe that just a couple of years ago I was wondering if I would be able to leave the water running while brushing my teeth without feeling guilty, ever again. Yet here it is in June and there is still about 14 feet or so of snow at the top of the mountain!
Having always associated snowshoeing with Canadians (I figured it was just how they got to work and stuff) I never really gave it much serious thought, until this year. Looking for places to see, and things to do, and not having any snow parks open, I thought it would be a fun way to get out in nature and get some exercise; and boy did I get some! The thing about hiking in the snow is that you feel like you’ve gone a hundred feet, but when when you turn around, you’ve probably gone half that! It makes for a tedious trek, but is well worth the exertion, when you get view like these:
I parked at the sulfur pits, which was as far as the road was open, and hiked straight up towards Loomis Peak. I wouldn’t recommend going straight up the middle like I chose to do, due to time constraints, but would suggest following the route that is on the map that you get when you pay to enter the park.
Here is an image from https://www.nps.gov/lavo/planyourvisit/snowshoeing.htm that shows the different trails. You can find more info there about the levels of hiking trails. I went off trail and made my own path.
If you are looking for an AMAZING view of Northern California, and some great exercise and outdoor experiences, I recommend you visit Lassen National Forrest. There are guided snowshoe tours during the winter, as well as camping, fishing, and hiking trails. I will definitely be going back once the snow melts, to partake in those activities. When I was 21 I caught a decent sized trout in about 5 minutes of casting my reel, and look forward to seeing if I can do the same, over a decade later!