Lava Canyon Trail

Harmony Falls Landing, Washington

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This hike begins with the wide, paved Lava Canyon Interpretive Trail, which leads to a viewing platform overlooking a stunning canyon—a deep, jagged cut through a thick layer of ancient lava. From the viewing area, the trail loops down to the canyon rim in a long series of steep (for wheelchair users) switchback turns offering excellent views. The Muddy River cuts through the heart of this basalt canyon, which was scoured clean by the rushing mudflows during the 1980 eruption. The main Lava Canyon Trail continues east along the wild gorge of the Muddy River. You won’t find grand vistas or sweeping panoramas here. You will find a remarkable lesson in geological change—this valley was carved in part by a massive lahar, or volcano-induced mudflow of massive proportions.
Day Hiking: South Cascades

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Day Hiking: South Cascades

by Dan A. Nelson (The Mountaineers Books)

This hike begins with the wide, paved Lava Canyon Interpretive Trail, which leads to a viewing platform overlooking a stunning canyon—a deep, jagged cut through a thick layer of ancient lava. From the viewing area, the trail loops down to the canyon rim in a long series of steep (for wheelchair users) switchback turns offering excellent views.

The Muddy River cuts through the heart of this basalt canyon, which was scoured clean by the rushing mudflows during the 1980 eruption. The main Lava Canyon Trail continues east along the wild gorge of the Muddy River. You won’t find grand vistas or sweeping panoramas here. You will find a remarkable lesson in geological change—this valley was carved in part by a massive lahar, or volcano-induced mudflow of massive proportions.

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

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Harmony Falls Landing
Distance: 5
Elevation Gain: 1,600 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Season: Late May-November
Trailhead Elevation: 1,200 feet
Top Elevation: 2,800 feet
Accessibility: Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Local Contacts: USFS Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Local Maps: Green Trails No. 364 Mount St. Helens
Driving Directions: Directions to Lava Canyon Trail

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Apr 2018