8 November 2023

Mt. St. Helens

Mt. St. Helens! aka Lawetlat’la! aka Loowit! Made it to the rim for the first time a few weeks ago.. a very tough hike. Started at 9 am, got up to the top at 3 pm, finally made it back to the parking lot close to 8. Yeesh. First a gentle incline for a couple miles in forest that looks a lot like this:

Exposed roots

Then you leave the forest and enter a rough scrambling section over big boulders. Here’s right at the start of the boulder field, right about at the tree line:

Foreshadowing of the boulder section

Then a really steep volcanic ash slip and slide for another 3/4 mile, after which you finally reach the rim and the amazing view, with a mildly fuming dome down in the crater. Every so often you could hear rocks tumbling down along the walls of the crater. Not the longest hike I’ve done by distance (just under 9 miles total), but I think the hardest and highest so far!

Going down was its own kind of hard. Sun was setting a few miles from the trailhead, and got back to the car in the dark (with a headlamp).

Sunset on the way down

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