Day Hiking: South Cascades
by Dan A. Nelson (The Mountaineers Books)
© 2007 Dan A. Nelson /The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
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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