Lava Canyon

Cougar, Washington

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There are two hike possibilities from the Lava Canyon Trailhead: a short loop past some of the best waterfalls at Mount St. Helens, and a difficult descent of the Muddy River Gorge, aka Lava Canyon. Whichever hike you choose, the first 0.3 mile is paved and barrier-free. This lahar split near the present site of Lahar Viewpoint, with part of it racing down Pine Creek. The rest rushed down the Muddy River Gorge, aka Lava Canyon, removing all the vegetation as it went. Below the gorge the lahar continued down the Muddy River, smashing and carrying away almost everything in its path and depositing a large volume of logs into Swift Reservoir. This is not the first time a lahar has scoured the timber from Lava Canyon. Geologic evidence shows that this has happened before and in all likelihood will happen again.
A FalconGuide to Mount St. Helens

DESCRIPTION FROM:

A FalconGuide to Mount St. Helens

by Fred Barstad (Falcon Guides)

There are two hike possibilities from the Lava Canyon Trailhead: a short loop past some of the best waterfalls at Mount St. Helens, and a difficult descent of the Muddy River Gorge, aka Lava Canyon. Whichever hike you choose, the first 0.3 mile is paved and barrier-free.

This lahar split near the present site of Lahar Viewpoint, with part of it racing down Pine Creek. The rest rushed down the Muddy River Gorge, aka Lava Canyon, removing all the vegetation as it went. Below the gorge the lahar continued down the Muddy River, smashing and carrying away almost everything in its path and depositing a large volume of logs into Swift Reservoir. This is not the first time a lahar has scoured the timber from Lava Canyon. Geologic evidence shows that this has happened before and in all likelihood will happen again.

©  Fred Barstad/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Cougar
Distance: 6
Elevation Gain: 1,130 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy to Difficult
Duration: Day hike
Season: June through October
Trailhead Elevation: 2,840 feet
Top Elevation: 2,840 feet
Local Contacts: Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument; Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Local Maps: USGS Smith Creek Butte
Driving Directions: Directions to Lava Canyon

Recent Trail Reviews

6/22/2007
0

The road to this trail is currently closed approx 5 miles from the trailhead due to storm damage....maybe next year.



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Apr 2018