Trail of Two Forests

Cougar, Washington 98616

Trail of Two Forests

Trail of Two Forests Professional Review and Guide

"The two forests in question are separated in age by 2000 years, but they stand side by side. One forest is a lush, old-growth Douglas-fir and western red-cedar ecosystem that surrounds this boardwalk trail. The other is a young forest that was originally engulfed and consumed by the lava flows from an eruption of Mount St. Helens more than two millennia ago.

The trees from that ancient forest are gone, and all that remains are the imprints left by their burning hulks in the cooling lava. The lava solidified faster than the trees burned, and as a result there are hollow impressions of trees engulfed by the river of rock. These three-dimensional imprints of trees are called lava casts—three-dimensional impressions in the rock—and this scenic loop trip offers plenty of opportunity to study them."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
50 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Late May-November
1,900 feet
Trailhead Elevation
1,885 feet
Top Elevation
USFS Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Local Contacts
Green Trails No. 364 Mount St. Helens
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018