Dome Camp

Toutle, Washington

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The vast majority of the trails in the Pacific Northwest travel through miles of dense coniferous forests before ending at some ridge, lake, or other destination where you break out of the trees and can enjoy the view. In another 50 years or so that will probably be true of this hike as well. For now, though, this trail is a wonderfully open ramble with grand views, lots of wildflowers, and only a handful of scattered fir trees. This unusual scenery results from the dramatic handiwork of Mt. St. Helens, which fills the skyline just a few miles to the southeast. On the cataclysmic morning of May 18, 1980, the volcano flattened the forests and generally destroyed this entire area in one of the largest natural disasters in U.S. history. Walking through this recovering devastated area is a hiking experience unlike anything in North America.

Dome Camp Professional Review and Guide

"The vast majority of the trails in the Pacific Northwest travel through miles of dense coniferous forests before ending at some ridge, lake, or other destination where you break out of the trees and can enjoy the view. In another 50 years or so that will probably be true of this hike as well. For now, though, this trail is a wonderfully open ramble with grand views, lots of wildflowers, and only a handful of scattered fir trees. This unusual scenery results from the dramatic handiwork of Mt. St. Helens, which fills the skyline just a few miles to the southeast. On the cataclysmic morning of May 18, 1980, the volcano flattened the forests and generally destroyed this entire area in one of the largest natural disasters in U.S. history. Walking through this recovering devastated area is a hiking experience unlike anything in North America."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Toutle
Distance: 14.2
Elevation Gain: 1,950 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate to Difficult
Season: Late June to mid-July
Local Contacts: Mount St . Helens National Volcanic Monument
Local Maps: Green Trails: Mount St . Helens

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