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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.

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
18 days 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
18 days 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.

20 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

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

hiking
26 days 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
2 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!

If you are a beginner mountaineer or an experienced hiker and are looking for an absolute thrill, this is for you. You need a permit that cost normally $23 and they start selling in February. The view is amazing at the top. Nothing I say on here will suffice, you just need to do it!

Amazing old growth forest!

Great for pictures and to meet visitor center interpreters.

on Ape Cave Trail

hiking
2 months ago

LOVED THIS HIKE! Permits are now bought online though, and can be printed out at home so no need to stop at the Lone Fir Resort. Ended up bringing too much water after reading the reviews here! It's a scramble on tough rock so bring warm gloves and/or gardening gloves (I brought both). We started our hike at 2AM and made it to the top to enjoy the sunrise. The wind was CRAZY at the top! But it was so beautiful! Bring layers and face layers (I had my buff and balaclava) because the dust and dirt get whipped around by the wind.

took us 3 hours to reach the summit. we did the full loop that is 10 miles . did a sunrise, started at 5 am and teacher the top at 8am . need to be in good shape to make it up without feeling burnt out

hiking
2 months ago

What a fun experience! Our kids 11 and 7 really enjoyed the caves. The upper was a little more than our guest was willing endure. It intimated her with a giant pile of boulders you had to walk over so we have already planned to go back next year. Just like everyone else says.. head lamp are a must.
Cant wait to do this again