Mount Saint Helens: June 2010

A very different climb this year!

This year, when we got to the south cascade mountains, they had been hammered by snow for several days. The result was a very different view of the mountin we had used as a warm up hike for Rainier the year prior. The Mountain was completely covered in snow and ice and presented a real climb for us.


Mount Saint Helens: July 2009

A Warm Up Hike for Adams and Rainier

At 8:32 Sunday morning, May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted.
At 11:56 am on 7/19/2009, I arrived.
Two epic moments in the history of the South Cascade Mountains!


The Crew

Ben, Scott, Brett and Brad


Ape Canyon Trail

Mount Saint Helen's is a 1 day hike. Unfortunately, we waited a little late to get the permit, and the permits are very limited. Instead of the planned slog to the summit, we decided to do a lighter day hike, called Ape Canyon Trail.

I will tell you this, the first half is pretty much straight up. I would love to do this trail on a mountain bike

Season of Use:
Summer to Fall

3100 to 4200 feet above sea level

Visitor Use:

begins, Ape Canyon Trailhead, Forest Rd. 83; ends, Loowit Trail #216

Trail Description:
Walk along the edge of a large mudflow from the 1980 eruption. Compare the terrain swept by the mudflow with the untouched area traversed by the trail.

Hike through a growing plantation of young trees; then enter one of the few remaining segments of old growth forest untouched by the blast or mudflows.

Catch magnificent views of Mt. Adams from grassy meadows on the east side of the ridge. Observe the wildflowers and watch for mountain goats which have been sighted in this area.

Trail Facts:
This maintained trail begins at the crumbling edge of a mudflow and then follows an old road through a young regenerating forest. It then climbs through a remnant of old growth forest and emerges into open meadows on the east side of the ridge. It continues along the ridge through patches of old growth and standing dead trees and climbs to open meadows and volcano scoured rock at the top of Ape Canyon, where it terminates at the junction with Loowit Trail #216.

This trail has a steady upward grade as it climbs to Ape Canyon. Beware of steep drops and loose rock in the Ape Canyon area at the top of the trail.

The Ape Canyon Trail connects with the Loowit Trail #216 for access to the Windy Ridge area or a round-the-mountain hike. This trail is part of a popular loop for mountain bikers: starting at Windy Ridge, ride the Truman Trail #207 to Abraham Trail #216D, then continue south to the Loowit Trail #216 and follow the Loowit Trail to the junction at the top of Ape Canyon Trail.



Smith Creek Butte and Mount St. Helens quadrangles


Gear List

The hike is a simple day hike when the mountain isn't covered in snow and you can get away with a daypack, a few water bottles, some food and the usual basice items for any average to tough day hike or what you would take on a standard trek.

If it's snow covered, like it was in 2010, you need a standard mountaineering gear setup.



Click here to see my photo gallery from the climb...


"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."    — Robert A. Heinlein

Home | Trips | Calendar | Gear | Weekend Warrior | About | What's New | Email