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Mt. St. Helens

Tour #1   Mt. St. Helens

Mt. St. Helens

We have a living laboratory nearby which shows how the Earth’s surface can be dramatically altered in just a few minutes, just as happened with the global Flood of Genesis.  Many geologists were astounded that the landscape could be so dramatically altered in such a short time—not millions of years!

This is our most popular tour, which includes a presentation at the Mt. St. Helens Creation Center, a visit to the Buried A Frame, Weyerhaeuser Forest Learning Center, the Hummocks Trail, and Johnston Ridge Observatory.  Some groups may want to visit Coldwater Lake in place of hiking the Hummocks Trail.  We end the day with pizza at Papa Pete’s (or alternatively stop for lunch at the Fire Mountain Grill). 

This tour is available from mid-May through mid-October.  Also available in winter with visits to the Silver Lake Visitor Center and Sediment Retention Dam in place of the Forest Learning Center and Johnston Ridge.  Other options available upon request.

Tour #2 North Side of Mt. St. Helens

Spirit Lake

This less-traveled side of Mt. St. Helens offers a different view of the mountain from Windy Ridge.  It also provides access to Spirit Lake via the Harmony Trail, a one-mile hike to get a close-up view of the floating logs.  Visitors also see more of the blown-down forest and the remnants of the miner’s car which was caught in the blast.  An interpretive center is open on Fridays and Sundays through the end of August.

Tour #3 South Side of Mt. St. Helens

Ape Cave

On the south side of Mt. St. Helens visitors can see the effects of an eruption that occurred 1900 years ago as well as the recent eruption.  This tour includes the Trail of Two Forests which showcases the modern old-growth forest compared to the ancient one which has been preserved by a lava flow.  We also have the opportunity to explore Ape Cave, the third longest lava tube in North America.  There are actually two caves: the lower cave is a relatively easy walk, 1.5 miles round trip.  The upper cave is a more rugged hike, 1.5 miles one way, with some climbing over rocks.  The caves are recommended for those in good physical shape; especially suited for high schoolers.  Also included is a 1.4 mile loop hike to Lava Canyon, carved by a mudflow during the 1980 eruption. 

For more information e-mail Bruce Barton at 

Bruce Barton,
Dec 5, 2018, 10:46 AM