wild flowers


nature trips



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.

Great hike with breathtaking views at the top near Loowit trail. There is a short segment of maybe 0.1mile near the end that is a narrow with a steep dropoff. The trail is made of loose stones and gravel, and has started to give way slightly at 2 points. Use caution.

overall a ok hike don't like having to finish it up by a mile on the highway though.

8 days ago

The maps weren't very clear at all for someone who was new to the trails. We were kind of all over the place so we aren't completely sure how far we went. Must've been about 13-14 miles in/out.

Absolutely amazing. Difficulty is moderate as you are in the dark, on uneven ground, climbing, crawling, & shinmying. It was an incredible day. We did the lower caves. Weekends are busy & take longer. You will need good shoes & a headlamp. It was 48 degrees in the caves but we warmed up quickly with the amount of work we were doing.

Not really a trail. But the information and view are amazing.

17 days ago

Bring your headlamps and watch your head! The Ape Caves are fun to explore - and you have two options: difficult and easy. Worth the time to do both.

Hard is a good description for this trail. It's a nice forest stroll until you reach the timberline. After that, its a "boulder dash" until you reach the gravel/ash near the top. 100% worth the hike, though. You'll love it.

stairs are a bit tough, but the views are worth it.

This was a really cool hike to go on with a group of friends. Anticipate some light climbing if you go the higher route. I didn't hike the lower. Bring a headlamp instead of a flashlight because it'd be easier for you to use your hands. Definitely check out all the smaller tunnels on your way through, but be careful because mountain lions do like to hang out in caves. There are. Beautiful pieces of nature and history inside this cave!