wild flowers





nature trips


kid friendly

no dogs

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.

5 days ago

I did the upper cave. it was kinda long, kinda challenging. Im not exactly what you would call a super in shape person, and this cave was still a task, but tons of fun. you definitely want to have a bright headlamp. boyfriend and i had headlamps, but they werent too bright. luckily we had people with us that had bright ones, making it so we could see more of the caves beauty. i am a short person, and if it wasnt for my group helping me up the 8ft, 90degree angle foot wall, i wouldnt have been able to make it up myself since the rope is no longer there. shorties will need a boost. it would be a good idea to have climbing gloves as well. the volcanic rock is sharp and was cutting my hands before i put gloves on. i also made the mistake of wearing work out shoes. theyre too flexible and the caves are WET. my shoes and feet were soaked by the time i was only a third of the way through. plus, there was snow on the outside of the cave, walking back to the car, and its super slippery. i was sliding the whole way down because of my shoes. bring snacks, youll be out for a while.
AMAZING adventure, even for beginners.
wear protective clothing (boots, gloves, hoodie because its wet and cold)
a bright headlamp is ideal, you can see more beauty!
bring snacks!

we attempted this hike today, may 17th. wayyyy too early in the season for our comfort and abilities. snow pack at mile 2 (south trailhead) forced us into a 4 mile out and back instead of the loop. got deep and the trail was hard to identify even with the markers.

looking forward to going back when the snow is gone. beautiful views.

Great hike, easy due to no elevation gain, 5 miles to creek and 5 miles back. Waterproof shoes in spring! Lots of wildlife.

12 days ago

18 days ago

Incredibly beautiful hike!!

easy, love June lake

love this hike lots of epic photo opportunities good trail to trail run some trees down but hey obstacles are part of the Adventure right

Beautiful hike. A few spots where the trail was eroded but passable. Lovely flowers. Watch for ticks!

2 months ago

Did both levels with a toddler on my back the whole time...

4 months ago

4 months 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

4 months ago

I had the best time there