Truman Trail - Pumice Plains

Harmony Falls Landing, Washington

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1 Review
3 out of 5
The eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980 is held up as an example of the destructive power of nature, yet today, the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is the perfect classroom in which to learn about nature’s strong ability to recover and rebuild. It’s been nearly three decades, after all, and this broad valley proves that life does return. This area was inundated with up to 600 feet of mud from the initial landslide, but today birds and animals fill the area. Elk roam the basin, browsing on the lush plant life around the small pothole lakes and ponds. During one visit, we identified the burrow of a snowshoe hare on the gentle western slope at the base of Windy Ridge, and we heard the yipping cries of a family of coyotes as we started down the trail earlier that morning. The plain above Spirit Lake rang with the relentless “ribbet” of frogs seeking mates along the wetland shores, and the scraggly bushes nearby rustled as flycatchers and flickers flew from branch to branch.
Day Hiking: South Cascades

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Day Hiking: South Cascades

by Dan A. Nelson (The Mountaineers Books)

The eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980 is held up as an example of the destructive power of nature, yet today, the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is the perfect classroom in which to learn about nature’s strong ability to recover and rebuild. It’s been nearly three decades, after all, and this broad valley proves that life does return.

This area was inundated with up to 600 feet of mud from the initial landslide, but today birds and animals fill the area. Elk roam the basin, browsing on the lush plant life around the small pothole lakes and ponds. During one visit, we identified the burrow of a snowshoe hare on the gentle western slope at the base of Windy Ridge, and we heard the yipping cries of a family of coyotes as we started down the trail earlier that morning. The plain above Spirit Lake rang with the relentless “ribbet” of frogs seeking mates along the wetland shores, and the scraggly bushes nearby rustled as flycatchers and flickers flew from branch to branch.

© 2007 Dan A. Nelson /The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Harmony Falls Landing
Distance: 10
Elevation Gain: 200 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Season: Late May-November
Trailhead Elevation: 4,025 feet
Top Elevation: 4,000 feet
Local Contacts: USFS Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Local Maps: Green Trails No. 364S Mount St. Helens NW, No. 332 Spirit Lake
Driving Directions: Directions to Truman Trail - Pumice Plains

Recent Trail Reviews

8/30/2009
0

On a clear day It is a nice drive to the trailhead with great views of lush forest, felled trees/blast zone destruction, Spirit Lake and the mountain. Once on the trail it is 2 miles of relatively uninteresting gravel road before you get to the mud flow and pumic plains. From there (assuming clear weather) you get great views of the mountain, crater breach, crater glacier, and waterfalls. New plant life continues to struggle so some might find this a barren and ugly landscape. I found the various mosses, grass, wildflowers and small bushes beautiful and interesting especially in contrast to the different colors of earth, mud and pumice. We were also lucky to spot a nice herd of elk. Because the trail crosses several large washes and a couple of creek beds the route can be tricky to find even though it is clearly marked with tall wood posts.



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Activity Feed

Apr 2018