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At 8:32 Sunday Morning, May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens Erupted Shaken by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, the north face of this tall symmetrical mountain collapsed in a massive rock debris avalanche. In a few moments this slab of rock and ice slammed into Spirit Lake, crossed a ridge 1,300 feet high, and roared 14 miles down the Toutle River. The avalanche rapidly released pressurized gases within the volcano. A tremendous lateral explosion ripped through the avalanche and developed into a turbulent, stone-filled wind that swept over ridges and toppled trees. Nearly 150 square miles of forest was blown over or left dead and standing. At the same time a mushroom-shaped column of ash rose thousands of feet skyward and drifted downwind, turning day into night as dark, gray ash fell over eastern Washington and beyond. Wet, cement-like slurries of rock and mud scoured all sides of the volcano. Searing flows of pumice poured from the crater. The eruption lasted 9 hours, but Mount St. Helens and the surrounding landscape were dramatically changed within moments. A vast, gray landscape lay where once the forested slopes of Mount St. Helens grew. In 1982 the President and Congress created the 110,000-acre National Volcanic Monument for research, recreation, and education. Inside the Monument, the environment is left to respond naturally to the disturbance.

hiking
7 days ago

This is a really fun hike! There is an upper and lower cave that vary in difficulty but neither is very difficult and an amazing experience. A little further north is the suspension bridge that I highly recommend checking out as well!

absolutely loved this! amazing adventure I suggest if you don't have children to do the harder corse. it is an amazing workout and extremely fun just be careful of your footing ! we have gone 3 times now and wanting to go even more

hiking
14 days ago

I had the best time there

hiking
1 month ago

I wouldn't bring kids under 10 in the current weather conditions, plenty of snow about 2 feet, really had to look for the blue diamonds on the trees that lead you back to the parking lot. snow parking permit pass is required which cost us 22 dollars for the day at the deli in Cougar. the self service at park still had 5 dollars listed as the price since we went there the first day of snow. boots above ankle and headlamps with extra batteries strongly recommended for the cave.

The most physically exhausting experience of my life...it's a grueling climb, but amazing nonetheless. Fill your hydration pack and bring plenty of food. You'll need to refuel at the top.

hiking
2 months ago

first of all, the photo with the suspension bridge belongs at the Lava Canyon Trail not Apes Cave. Misleading content. I completed both today. The caves are amazing and you should check it out. the upper caves may require a bit of additional assistance for non experienced hikers.

hiking
2 months ago

I made the mistake of going after a snow storm and the the trail was completely covered in downed trees at the top of the first mountain. Pretty cool but save this one for a sunny day. Wonderful views of Mt Adams, Mt St. Helens and the Columbia Gorge range.

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Incredible. Your knees will ache from the long slow incline, but absolutely worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

Loved this hike did it late yesterday so it was dark walking the trail back but they have reflectors on tree to find the trail back. Did lower first then upper. Even my 5 year old daughter did it. Would do this hike again.

I have hiked this trail many times and it is one of my favorites. Challenging but worth it for the scenery. Last time up there were 5 mountain goats climbing in the Plains of Abraham. Deer flies can be an issue later in the summer though.

loved it did it bareback

did this hike on 10-23-16 lots of snow and had to use snowshoes. clouds broke when we hit the summit, awesome views but very cold. wind chill was in the teens.

Did this October 10th this year during a downpour most the time and with snow and ice covering most of the boulder fields - made for a long day! Not
Much of a trail half way up and be ready to scramble and pay attention to avoid getting hurt.

It was very nice but hard I would do it again though definatly haw bright lights and I would not take kids if you have to carry them!!!

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike. Headlamps are a plus so you can have your hands free to climb over the many rock pile obstacles. The lava wall and a couple of really tight spaces to get through made for an awesome experience. I've never experienced complete darkness until this. It wasn't as crowded on the day/time we went and if you turned off all your light sources, you could not see the person standing next to you. Would do this again for sure!