I’ve lived in Washington pretty much my whole life (except for 4 months while I was waiting to be adopted in Korea) and I had never been to Mt Saint Helens. When I told Davey this, he immediately added it to our Hiking Bucket List. We ended up having a free weekend in early November and off we went. If only things were that quick and easy when I asked him to fix the fence in our backyard. 😒
I don’t know that we could’ve picked a better day for our adventure; it was warm but not too warm, and clear with a good breeze. We choose to do Ape Canyon, which was about 9.5 miles, with a 2,000 feet elevation gain. (Sidenote: this is probably the max amount of miles I would do on a hike…this one was a long one and my legs were feelin’ it the next day.)
But if I made it to the top in Nike Frees, you can too, my friend.
Not only were the views breathtaking, but it was really cool to see the lava flow from the 1980 eruption. (And if I’m being honest, a little creepy too. Maybe not creepy, maybe surreal is a better word. The eruption caused so much damage and devastation to the landscape, it was crazy to see in person.)
Couple of things if you decide to go: the switchbacks are by far the worst part of the hike and they happen about midway through. Once you clear those, you should be good to go. Pack a lunch; hiking is hard work! Look for the mountain goats at the top, that was pretty cool to see. And lastly, most of the hike is covered by forest, so it got a little chilly. And REALLY chilly at the top, because of the wind. So bring a jacket!