A July 2006 trip
to Lassen Volcanic National Park by btwood2
Quote: Lassen Peak is the snowy centerpiece of this gem of national parks, also containing steaming, bubbling, hissing geothermal areas, and a cold boiling lake.
The Great Explosion: By May 1915, lava began overflowing Lassen’s summit crater’s walls. On May 19th, a hot rock avalanche was triggered on the east side, resulting in a lahar (lava flow combined with snow and mud) extending 11 miles down Lost Creek. On May 22nd, the climactic "Great Explosion" generated pyroclastic flows, lahars, floods, and a dramatic eruption column that rose 5 ½ miles skyward, dumping fine ash as far east as Elko, Nevada, 310 miles away. Benjamin Loomis, an amateur photographer in the right place at the right time, captured this dramatic eruption. Enlarged posters are on display at Loomis Museum. Lassen Peak continued periodic eruptions through 1917.
Lassen is part of the huge Pacific Rim of Fire, the area circumventing the Pacific Plate, where ongoing subduction between it and adjoining plates causes a hotbed of volcanic and earthquake activity. Besides containing all four types of volcanoes within its boundaries, Lassen Park also has a wealth of geothermal features, including hot springs, fumaroles, and mudpots.
Climbing Lassen Peak included trudging through sparkly clean snowfields as morning sun back lit struggling groves of gnarled white pine. And after attaining the summit, gazing upon Lassen’s two amazing craters on its peak. What an experience! Lassen Peak is the easiest of the Cascades to climb, requiring no specialized equipment and only 4-5 hours.
Lassen Peak was named after Danish immigrant Peter Lassen. A blacksmith by trade, he was eventually successful in obtaining a Mexican land grant on Deer Creek in 1844. He planted vineyards and wheat on Bosquejo, his ranch. He developed the Lassen Trail in 1848, became a gold prospector in 1849, and settled near Susanville in 1855. While again prospecting in 1859, he was killed, possibly by Indians or renegade whites. By 1855, the peak bore his name on survey maps.
Current Lassen road and trail conditions can be accessed at the NPS website, and is frequently updated. The excellent website also features photos of snow conditions and snowplow operations in spring, and fire activities in summer. The snow plow photo gallery will bring home the realization that Lassen Park is a very snowy place! Even though we’d delayed our visit to the second week in July, a number of popular campgrounds and trails were still closed due a late May snowstorm.
Hiking Lassen Peak: Elevations higher than 8000 feet put anyone at risk for altitude sickness. Take it slow and easy; follow your own pace. Be alert for symptoms of headache, nausea, and weakness. If these develop, slow down, or consider aborting your hike. The sun is very intense in thinner air, so use plenty of sunblock and wear a wide-brimmed hat (that ties under your chin so the wind won’t blow it off). Bring a windbreaker and wear layers; the wind is often strong the higher you ascend on the peak. Trekking poles are an excellent aid for balance, especially hiking up or down slippery snow. They also make it easier on the knee joints. Hiking boots with good ankle support are a must. As on any hike, bring enough water and trail mix or snack.
Stealth mosquitoes? No one else seemed to be bothered by these, but I kept getting bit. I was mystified by the welts on my arms and legs (more than 50) that appeared starting from my first evening in Lassen. They looked and felt like mosquito bites, but never once did I catch one of the little buggers biting me. The bites stopped after we left Lassen. They started again in Crater Lake, 2 weeks later, but those were inflicted by clearly visible and audible mosquitoes.
Redding Municipal Airport carriers include SkyWest, UnitedExpress, and HorizonAir. Connecting cities are L.A., San Francisco, Portland, and Eureka. Avis and Hertz provide car rentals at the airport.
Amtrak’s Coast Starlight stops in Redding, on its Los Angeles-Seattle route. Greyhound’s also got a depot in town.
Getting around while there: You need a car. There are no park shuttles, and though Highway 89 wasn’t too busy, the narrow shoulders weren’t exactly bike-friendly. Lassen National Forest surrounds the park on the north, west, and south. It’s got numerous campgrounds, attractions, and recreational opportunities of its own. On the east lies the Caribou Wilderness.
Park access roads: Northwest entrance from highway 44, Southwest entrance from Highway 36, Warner Valley accessed from Plumas County road 312, paved until just short of the park entrance. It’s a narrow dirt road the last 3 miles to Drakesbad Guest Ranch. Cinder Cone can be accessed from Highway 44 east of Old Station, by a 6 mile gravel road. Watch for the Butte Lake Campground sign. This is a very off-the-beaten path area, and unfortunately, in spite of the rangers’ recommendations, we didn’t make it there.
Small is good. This smaller of several roadside Park Service campgrounds was our choice after speaking with park service staff when planning our trip. Arriving on a Friday afternoon in mid-July, we were pleasantly surprised to find many spaces still available. Including the perfect spot for us, always picky with our big 38-foot long motor home, topped with solar panels and satellite. We require open sky with southern exposure and sun. Our pull-through was between some walk-in tent sites, of which only one behind us was occupied.
Lynn City: Another nice surprise was the sign on the welcome board, informing that credit cards are accepted as payment for campsites. Sure enough, campground hostess Lynn pulled out the manual card imprinter to slide through our card. This is her first summer as hostess, and rangers have dubbed her encampment "Lynn City" because it’s so elaborate, with numerous netted tents for reception, kitchen, and even a guest tent.
At 5700 feet elevation, forested with red fir and Jeffrey pine, the campground cools off at night. But when the sun comes up it quickly warms everything it touches, and days are balmy, shorts weather for sure. Crags tries to be open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend if the weather allows. But the water lines don’t function until half of June. Amenities include drinking water, vault toilets, trash, recycling for plastics, glass, and aluminum, big bear-proof boxes at each campsite, campfire rings, and sturdy cement picnic tables. (Some sites still have the old wooden ones.)
We were doubly happy staying at Crags after we took a look at bigger, more popular Manzanita Lake Campground, one mile in from the northwest entrance. Though this 179-site 4-loop campground is situated only 1/8 mile from lovely Manzanita Lake, almost every site was full, giving it that door-to-door ghetto-campground feel. One reason could be that it’s partially by reservation; another could be its proximity to a very well-equipped store, pay-showers, and laundromat.
That little store deserves special mention. Though we didn’t need to buy anything there, its shelves were incredibly well-stocked with almost anything you could think of: from camping supplies to groceries to pharmacy needs to children’s games and toys. They even had a jar of artichoke hearts for just over $2, but the 1.5 liter Merlot for $6.50 was something we just couldn’t resist, since it would complement the eggplant parmesan I was baking that night perfectly. And it did.
Though Crags doesn’t have a dump station, there’s one a half mile up on the spur road to Manzanita Campground. After our week at Crags, we dumped there and filled with fresh good-tasting potable water. Cost for camping: $12 a day. Cost for dumping/fresh water: $5. Our cost: half-price of both thanks to Bob’s Golden Age Passport.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 5, 2006
Highway 89 (park Road), 5 Miles From Nw Entrance
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Attraction | "Hiking Lassen Peak"
Checking status reports of Lassen trails online before our arrival, I was delighted to learn Lassen Peak trail had just been opened, with snow on the first half mile of 2.5. I was further encouraged in Lassen Park, speaking with our campground neighbors, who’d made it to the top earlier that day with their 7-year-old son. Bob wasn’t ready for such a steep climb at such high altitudes: 8,500 feet trailhead to 10,457 summit. He’d had two more stents placed in his right coronary artery less than two weeks before.
Park handouts warn not to hike up the peak when thunderstorms threaten, not uncommon summer afternoons. We’d had one pass over our first day, with only distant rumblings. The sky was clear blue and cloudless at 9:15AM when I began my ascent. The day before, huge snow-moving equipment was digging out the restrooms on the peak parking lot, which now peeked out from under a thick hood of snow.
The clearly signed trail began through heavily foot-printed snow, which soon thinned out to single-file, marked occasionally by little red flags. I’m not used to walking in slippery snow. Shaded portions were still icy, and I kicked my toes in with each step to avoid sliding back. Terra firma under a grove of white pines, but quickly again into snow out in the open.
After about half an hour of hiking in blessed solitude, I spotted a couple ahead of me at about the same time two hikers using trekking poles behind me quickly passed me by. Soon a series of seemingly never-ending switchbacks began. Far views southwest of sprawling Lake Almanor, as nearby southeast, the trio of Eagle Peak, Pilot Pinnacle, and Mount Diller, which were above me when I started, soon were further and further beneath. South of Eagle Peak, frozen Lake Helen lay rimmed in turquoise-white.
Half a mile from the top, I met the first couple coming down. Since beginning switchbacking, the wind kept increasing, hitting me full-force from the southwest. "It’s really windy up there!" I was told now, by the woman, who was huddled under a rock outcropping. From this point, I could see more hikers making their way across the rocky ridge to the summit.
Not too much longer I was at the false summit, from which Mt. Shasta can be seen. Several hikers had stopped here, but I trudged on across a final snowfield to the spires where a communications station and seismograph tower loomed. The wind was horrendous, but I found a sheltered place to eat my lunch on the northwest side, with a terrific view of the still snow-filled crater. It’s actually two craters, from the eruptions of 1915-16 and 1917.
The way down my biggest challenges were finding an unexposed place to pee, and on that last "half-mile" of snow, not slipping downhill. After seeing most hikers using trekking poles, I mentally added them to my wish-list for Christmas/birthday.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 6, 2006
Hiking up Mt. Lassen
Main Road in Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park, California
Attraction | "Chaos Crags, Chaos Crater and Crags Lake "
"What great sounding names" I thought, combining alliteration with affinity for chaos theory. Each time we drove between Crags Campground and the Visitor Center, we glimpsed this cluster of dramatic dacite domes through forest cover, enticing me to get closer and see more. Bob joined me on this hike, taken our last day at Lassen.
The first half climbs steadily through fir/pine forest, with lower limbs of evergreens sporting thick moss growth. Eventually we emerge into a more open landscape, as forest thins and greenleaf manzanita ground cover prevails. The Crags become visible, and in their jagged unevenness, it’s hard to imagine that they’re plug dome volcanoes like Lassen Peak.
But they’re much younger. Violent eruptions and pyroclastic flows created Chaos Crags 1000-1200 years ago. The Crags are composed of five domes, three of which collapsed in hot-dome avalanches. About 300-400 years ago, Chaos Jumbles was formed in a series of three cold rockfall avalanches. Original visitor center and campground have been moved out of this unstable area.
Other hikers are settled on the boulders of Chaos Jumbles along with scurrying squirrels as I round the final bend to the incredible vista: high up Chaos Crags sweeping down to bluegreen Crags Lake below. It’s just a skip-hop-and jump further down to the lake, but I wait for Bob, who soon arrives. The gold-mantled ground squirrels are curious as we munch on our sandwiches, and we try to get shots of them between bites.
We’re sitting on Chaos Jumbles, the product of an "air-cushioned" avalanche. It fell so fast that the air became trapped beneath it, acting as a lubricant and speeding the avalanche up to 100 miles an hour as it ripped downhill. It crossed Manzanita Creek, blocking it to form Manzanita Lake, and its momentum pushed it 400 feet further up Table Mountain. The Jumbles are aptly named, a wide sloping field of sharply-edged boulders all jumbled together.
Crags Lake lies in Chaos Crater. Fed only by snowmelt, evaporating as summer lengthens, it sometimes dries up entirely by summer’s end. Three young guys who’d passed us hiking, stripped down to shorts and took a swim. I found myself wishing I’d brought something to swim in after making my way down to the lake and feeling the water with my fingers. Not as cold as I’d expected of a snowmelt lake.
At lake-level, the water appears more intensely turquoise, with myriads of pollywogs swimming in its shallow reaches. When I got down, the swimming dudes were gone, and only one other solitary hiker was enjoying the peace of the place under shady pines. I could easily have stayed much longer.
The hike back is consistently and relaxingly downhill, easy hiking on soft duff. Red pentstemon line the trail. Bright green mosses flourish on lower portions of evergreens, blazingly chartreuse in afternoon sunlight as we finish our hike.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
21750 Highway 89
Mineral, California 96063
Manzanita Lake was born only 300+ years ago, when the northeast dome of Chaos Crags collapsed in a cold air-cushioned incredibly fast (100 miles an hour) rock avalanche. The rockfall dammed Manzanita Creek, creating Manzanita Lake.
We began our walk behind Loomis Museum/Visitor Center, crossing over a bridge and then turned right along Manzanita Creek, then left (clockwise) as we reached the lake. On this portion of the trail, it’s a bit confusing due to picnic areas, other paths to roads and parking, and restricted nesting areas.
Once past the boat launch area, however, the trail hugs the lakeshore for the remainder of the walk. Water-bleached fallen trees along the shoreline provide interesting sculpture and handy seating. Small non-motorized boats and a few fly fishermen are out on the lake. Fishing is catch and release only, and very challenging, according to the fisherman we spoke with, who only managed to catch (and release) one rainbow trout in three hours. Only artificial lures and single barbless hooks are allowed. Wild rainbow trout, spawned from Manzanita Creek, can grow to 20 inches here.
The west end of Manzanita Lake is where photographers hang out late afternoons before sunset to catch stunning shots of Lassen Peak and Chaos Crags. These are bathed in sunlight and mirrored in Manzanita – perfect photo ops. We passed there (taking many shots and panos of course) between 5-6 PM, but too early for alpenglow.
We found Manzanita to be wildlife-rich. Signs warn not to feed the wildlife. Canada geese were wandering its shores, ducks swimming among the rushes. It’s prime bird-watching territory. Twice we came upon deer. First, a very startled fawn right on the trail, who rushed headlong into the undergrowth back to mama. Later, a single doe browsing and feeding along the shoreline. She tolerated our picture-taking patiently, allowing us to approach carefully for better shots, until hikers came up behind us. Then she was off like a flash.
Shortly after crossing over Manzanita’s outlet stream, the trail reaches the park road, Highway 89, at the entrance station. But immediately dips down, paralleling the road, and eventually veers away from it again, until arriving at our starting point, Loomis Museum. It’s not a walk for those seeking solitude, but very pretty nevertheless.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 6, 2006
Near Loomis Museum
Lassen Volcanic National Park 96088
Attraction | "Lily Pond Nature Trail"
This easy but fascinating loop is a wonderful introduction to some of Lassen’s flora and geology. We first thought it would simply take us around Reflection Pond, but about halfway around the pond, the trail veered deeper into the forest and then led into the fringes of Chaos Jumbles. The nature trail guide can be purchased at the Visitor Center for 50 cents, or picked up at the trailhead.
Almost immediately we spied snow plants, those spectacular waxy-looking flowers resembling bright red asparagus spears. They’re saprophytes, meaning they don’t photosynthesize, but use decaying organic matter in the soil to grow and reproduce. Their botanical name, Sarcodes sanguinea, means "blood-red flesh". We spotted snow plants all along this walk, no doubt due to the recently receded snow.
Thinleaf alder and Pacific willow (with fluffy willow-down) grow alongside the ponds, but the surrounding old-growth forest contains a diverse population of evergreens, from white and red fir, to Ponderosa, Jeffrey, lodge pole, and sugar pines. The sugar pines are the ones with the long, massive cones. Years ago a squirrel used one to bomb (and shatter) our one solar panel on top of our camper, in Sequoia National Park (California). That taught us to avoid camping under sugar pines.
Past a marshy flower-filled meadow, surprisingly free of mosquitoes, we climbed a short rise and came to lovely Lily Pond. Cow lily plants, also known as spatterdock, filled the pond leaving but few spaces where water was visible. Bright ball-shaped yellow lilies were just beginning to bloom. The roots and seeds of this plant have nutritional value, and roots and leaves were used in wound healing and to stop bleeding, by indigenous cultures. Despite the shortness and ease of this trail, we only met one other walker, a forest ranger who passed us at this pond.
Circumventing Lily Pond, we found other smaller ponds and bogs, but as we trod on the rocky fringes of Chaos Jumbles, the landscape dried up and changed. Douglas fir, incense cedar, and mountain hemlock began to predominate, with manzanita bushes beneath. Pink dacite rocks and boulders, products of the avalanche that created Chaos Jumbles, line the trail here, and the trees grow more sparsely. The rocks are pretty when you look at them closely, composed of pink volcanic glass, clear quartz and feldspar crystals, and black hornblende crystals and mica, the trail leaflet tells us.
The trail loops around to end at an old CCC building that we’d seen through the trees as we started. It’s built of local volcanic stone, and a wooden sign in front of it says "Discovery Center". But it looked closed, so we didn’t discover much more about it.
Attraction | "Sulphur Works"
Bob could smell the odor of hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell) even before we arrived. Austrian immigrant Mathias Supan began extracting sulfur here in 1865. He named his mine Sulphur Works, and for the next 20 years, sold his medicinal sulfur products in Red Bluff. His bathhouse, situated over steam vents, was popular with locals, who could combine healthful steam baths with an overnight stay in Supan’s cabins, and a hearty family-style meal in Supan’s dining hall. Unfortunately, late heavy snows had damaged the boardwalk leading to the loop trail around Sulphur Works remains and other geothermal features. Orange net barricades and trail closed signs were prominently posted. I could have kicked myself later, when I saw on the national park brochure that this 1/3 mile loop trail comes out just up the road and likely could have been accessed, all but for the boardwalk portion.
Nevertheless, there was plenty of geothermal activity to keep us occupied right there on either side of the road. Steam wisps upwards from fumaroles downslope on the east side of the road. Below that, a milk-colored stream bubbles over reddish rocks, flanked by patches of snow.
A large mud pot on the west roadside is eloquently guttural. Its low rumbling rhythmic voice booms and sputters expressively as its hot subterranean spirit spits out bits of gray mud. Completely mesmerizing, listening to the earth speak. A low rail fence and caution signs border the geothermal areas, and for good reason. The crust around the fumaroles and mudpots is so thin and unstable, it can easily break through.
Bumpass’s guide found that out the hard way, even though he knew better, and tourists to Lassen who ignore these precautions have been severely burned. Another mile and a half on the trail past Bumpass Hell lies the most unusual Cold Boiling Lake. Though cold, it looks like it’s boiling due to gas bubbles rising from underneath. Another reason to visit Lassen well past snow season; Cold Boiling Lake was also inaccessible to us.
More geothermal features: From Chester, California, you can enter Lassen from the southeast (State highway 36). Now known as Warner Valley, the area features Hot Springs Creek, Boiling Springs Lake, Terminal Geyser, and Devils Kitchen. Accomodations are available at historic Drakesbad Guest Ranch at the end of the road, or NPS Warner Valley campground, along Hot Springs Creek.
Attraction | "Subway Cave"
Subway’s lava came from the Hat Creek flow, originating from a series of large fissures in the earth, about 20,000 years ago. With time, a part of the cave’s roof collapsed, allowing access. Atsugewi Indians were aware of its existence, but may have felt it was not a good place. A sign states they believed an "evil" ape-like creature resided within its depths, but whether this was something they told white men in hopes to keep them out of the cave, or whether they truly believed this, is anyone’s guess.
Old Station is a picturesque little settlement and historic site. Rim Rock Store and Ranch (a bed and breakfast) are found in older well-kept buildings on the south side of the highway. A wooden sign next to the ranch informs that Old Station began as Hat Creek Station in 1856 for travelers on the California-Oregon trail. But after increasing conflicts with local Indians, it became a military post, abandoned shortly thereafter in 1861.
We first check out forest service-run Cave Campground across the highway from the cave. Then we park in the day-use-only Subway Cave parking lot, and climb the steps to the well-marked cave entrance. We meet a couple of guys coming out who confirm that the footing inside is indeed uneven.
Steps lead back down into the mouth of the cave. It’s a big cave, with smooth rounded walls and yes, rough floors. Sturdy shoes a must! In the heat of the afternoon, the constant 46 degree F interior is welcoming as we pull on our fleece/light jackets. Soon darkness and cool envelope us, and we turn on our flashlights, a must in the pitch blackness.
Each section has interpretive signs lit by small red reflectors. Sections of cave named Devil’s Doorway, and Stubtoe Hall narrow into the Wind Tunnel, but ceiling never lowers under 6 feet, and is usually higher. No tight squeezes or crawling in this cave. After a small cul-de-sac, the cave opens up and widens greatly, into a large inner hall called the Sanctum.
Light of the exit becomes faintly visible as we walk down Lavasicle Lane and past a couple of partial collapses. At the exit, lava bubbles are visible congealed and hardened on the floor. The section of well-lit cave at the end is most interesting, because daylight filters in to allow clear visualization of rocks and formations. After traversing its 1300 feet, I almost regret climbing the steps back up into bright light and heat. A short trail leads back to the beginning, this time aboveground. Phone:530-336-5521
A mile beyond the northwest entrance station, stop at Loomis Museum/Visitor Center to view the historic buildings, displays, and film about the park. The Road Guide to Lassen Volcanic National Park mentioned in the park brochure was not available during our visit, as it is currently (July 2006) being revised. If time permits, wander out to nearby Reflection Lake (north of the road) or Manzanita Lake (south of the road) and head for the northwest shore for superlative views of Mt. Lassen.
Hot Rock and the Devastated Area can be viewed from pullouts and a short trail. Loomis Hot Rock is a large granite boulder that was carried down in a 1915 mudflow. It stayed too hot to touch for days. Mt. Lassen’s pyroclastic flow and thick ashes of the "Great Explosion" of May 22, 1915 completely denuded the Devastated Area’s forest cover. Ninety-one years later, natural re-vegetation is well underway. Higher elevation conifers grow here along with those appropriate to this level, as their seeds were carried down in the lava and mud flows.
Hat Creek and Hat Lake: The Atsuwegi Indians were also called "Hat Creek Indians", fishing, hunting, and gathering food in the rugged country along this creek. Their name for Mt. Lassen is Wikuhirdiki. Yana and Yahi Indians lived along tributaries of the Sacramento River, in the foothills, stretching to western regions of the park. The Yana, no longer existing, called Mt. Lassen Waganupa, considered to be the center of the world and creation. Mountain Maidu populated the area south of Mt. Lassen; their name for Mt. Lassen was Kohm Yah-Mah-Nee, "snowy mountain". This Maidu name was chosen for Lassen’s new visitor center, which will be built at the southwest entrance during the next two years.
Past lushly green Dersch Meadows, the road climbs to Summit Lake, 7000 feet elevation. A trailhead to a network of backcountry trails is found here, as well as two campgrounds, one on the north shore, another on the south. Both were still closed when we left Lassen on July 13th, but were about to open. As the road continues its climb, patches of snow give way to thicker snowdrifts on both sides of the road. We pull over to enjoy the view of Kings Creek meandering through snowy Upper Meadow, with glaciated Reading Peak in the background.
Soon we’re viewing creek and meadow from high above, and the snow banks lining the road are now more than twice as high as our car. Above us on the mountainsides, tips of young hemlock are barely poking through the deep drifts. Less than a week ago, we were broiling in the Central Valley at well over 100 degrees, and this coolness is wonderfully refreshing.
We almost miss the turnoff to the Lassen Peak trailhead parking lot because the snow’s so high. But we turn in and find a flurry of activity. Tourists are gaping at huge snow-removing machinery being operated by park staff. At first it appears they’re just digging away at one portion of the massive snow bank on one edge of the parking lot. We’re amazed as bit by bit the front of a dark brown vault toilet hut is slowly and carefully revealed. Kids are frolicking in the snow that covers the start of the trail up Lassen Peak. The parking lot is glistening black with rivulets from the melting snow.
Now the road descends from its high point (8512 feet) past still-frozen Lake Helen. The Bumpass Hell parking lot and view area offer incredible vistas of the remains of ancestral Mt. Tehama, a massive strato-volcano with a base more than 11 miles wide. Remnants of its caldera exist as Brokeoff Mountain, Mount Diller, Pilot Pinnacle, Diamond Peak, and Mount Conrad. Lassen, a plug-dome volcano, emerged from a vent on Tehama’s northern flank. A huge lava bomb, twice as tall and many times as wide as a man, balances precariously on one end of the view area.
As we drive alongside the Little Hot Springs area, we stop frequently at turnouts to gaze upon and photograph interesting rock formations on the cliffs above. Don’t miss Sulphur Works, a highly active geothermal area and believed to be the remains of the central vent of ancestral Mt. Tehama. Sulphur Works was our endpoint. Just south of that there used to be a dilapidated and falling-apart 1970’s landmark called Lassen Chalet. It provided food service, gift shop, and overnight RV parking. The old chalet was demolished in May 2005. A contract was awarded in June 2006 to build the new Kohm Yah-Mah-Nee Visitor Center on the grounds. Groundbreaking is tentatively scheduled for May 2007, and hopefully the facility will be open in October 2008. Main park headquarters information center and book nook is located 9 miles outside of the park in the town of Mineral, and is open all year excluding holidays.
Rodeo, New Mexico