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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.

Great hike.. We did upper half in and back.

Great snow shoe
We walked in to the the equipment and really enjoyed the day .

Tried to do Harry’s Ridge but the access road was closed right after the trailhead to Coldwater Lake. It was a nice enough hike on a clear blue sky day. Views of the lake and some surrounding mountains somewhat monotonous but still very beautiful and peaceful. Not many out on the trail at all on a Sunday.

Wet and dark. The rock formations are nothing that special. We did the lower cave first but probably could've skipped it.

This was the best hike!! We had an incredibly clear day, sunshine all the time with crazy views. Took us 5 hours up and 5 hours down (we didn't rush down, this can definitely be done faster but we took our sweet time).
We went late October and there was quite some snow, so light crampons or some sort of traction is really helpful. We also had gaiters which helped, but I'm sure people will argue you don't necessarily need it. However, it's a hard hike and whatever helps, right? Totally worth every step though!

on Butte Camp Trail

2 months ago

Finishing stretch of two night trip! Glad we were heading downhill!

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked on 10/31/17. Saw a mountain goat.

Awesome butt kick trail

backpacking
2 months ago

It has everything! A big waterfall, lots of views of mountain ranges, adventure/ rope ascents&decents, AMAZING COLORS in the late fall! Totally underrated backpacking trip!

hiking
2 months ago

I think the idea of hiking this trail was more attractive than actually hiking it. It was dark 90% of the time during my hike there. There were maybe 3-4 cool spots worth checking out but that's about it. If you like cave-hiking, then this would be for you (not really my thing). And like pretty much everyone else say, bring headlights and wear sturdy shoes!

A great challenge

3 months ago

So pretty! But the difficulty rate should be moderate, not "hard".

hiking
3 months ago

Long lave tube hike--remember to bring high-quality flashlight! Pay to park so bring cash.

Awesome hike but you better hope for a view when you get there. We car camped at the TH and was able to hit the trail at 6 am. I think 5 am would have been better for the next time though. The first two miles were through the woods at a nice grade providing a warm up for the tough hike to come. After popping out of the woods it endless rocks and ash. One should have gloves to protect themselves from the abrasive rocks. All you need to do now is follow the posts. The trail involves walking and squeezing through large rocks or on ash. There is no groomed trail here. The trail is easy to follow when there is good visibility as well. About a hour before the rim the wind picked up, which is pretty common. Just be prepared for the wind and some cold weather and you will be fine. There was really no snow that couldnt be avoided until the last few feet. I didnt use spikes but had them., some in my group used them though. On the descent they were more useful. Poles are a pain on the way up but useful on the way down.

I was there with a few friends and if it was summer and warmer no view wouldnt have been a big deal. Since I was there at this time of the year and it was cold and windy I am glad we had the view and not so sure I would have left the car if there was no visibility on top of the wind and weather.

3 months ago

One of my must do trails when visiting the Northwest. Trails suitable for all with the upper cave being more advanced. Upper cave offers some fun rock scrambles and a few other obstacles such as a lava fall. Lower cave is really forgiving and allows all levels to enjoy the strange enviorment. Bring good lighting so you can see all the wonders or you can rent a lantern at the trail head. Lights, Camera, Sweatshirt and you're off!

3 months ago

Awesome/ beautiful place to explore caves. Having headlamps would be better so you can use both of your hands to climb up and down the rocks, but flashlights work too. Once you reach the end of the cave you’ll be on the other side and you just walk back to the beginning of the cave which is the entrance/exit. You’ll be surrounded by trees and walking on old dry lava which is pretty cool. There will be flags around to direct you on the right trail.

Absolutely stunning views! Hit the trail head about 0615 & made it up to the summit about 4.5 hours later. This climb was the most challenging yet. Mentally and physically having to push myself to keep going. So happy for the reward at the top!
I suggest some experience with outdoors and hiking and moderate physical shape to complete this. Leave the dogs and kids at home!

We did this in 2015 in a down pour & high winds. It was terrifying (for me). We made it to the summit and I'm glad I pressed on to the top!

Very cool. Highly recommend a head lamp, gloves and good sturdy shoes. The 8ft wall has one foot hold, it's a bit tough but if you can't get up it your hiking partner might be able to give you a boost. I would rate it on the difficult side of easy not moderate.

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