We've got a few days in the vicinity of Mount St. Helens and it's over 50 miles one way from our campground, so we started out with just a little taste today. We drove 5 miles to the Mount St Helens Visitor Center, just East of Castle Rock, WA. Turns out this visitor center is run by the state park system and charges $5/per person to watch their video and tour their info center...we decided to pass on that. Tomorrow we'll head in to the Johnson Ridge Observatory at the end of the road and at the base of the volcano where our Interagency Pass will get us in for free.
The visitor center did provide us access to a few trails, for free. First, there is a one mile wetlands loop just outside the visitor center; second, a short walk East from the parking lot takes you under the highway and in to Seaquest State Park
, where there is a campground and several miles of forested trails. It is beautiful here! Behold...
|10am on the wetlands trail and it's still cloudy...|
This was a railroad bed during the heavy logging days.
|A little grooming...|
|Bright splashes of spring here and there...|
|Just a few lilies on the verge of blooming|
|Another lush forest to stroll through!|
I LOVE all this green!
|It's awesome when you stop for a potty break and see something you wouldn't have seen otherwise!|
These are monotropa uniflora, aka ghost plant or corpse plant.
|The sun came out while we were in the forest so we headed back to the wetlands for lunch...|
and the mountain was out!
|Tomorrow, my friend, we will give you our full attention!|
WOW...there's talk in our house about spending next summer in those parts...now I'm really excited! What a beautiful wetlands. Love the ghost plants...too funny Lisa!ReplyDelete
I have wanted to see this volcano up close for years and now, thanks to this awesome lifestyle, it's going to happen! I'm excited!ReplyDelete
We spent a day at Mount St. Helens and would have loved to have more. Looking forward to perhaps another post? Love that little ghost plant.ReplyDelete
Thanks for this info! I'll be there myself soon and was looking for some good info beyond the NFS website.ReplyDelete
Glad I can help!Delete
I remember being at the Visitor Center a few years ago and there was a window wall with a painted outline on it. You lined up the mountain to the outline and it showed just how much had been blown off the top. That view was almost worth the price of admission.ReplyDelete
Very cool! I didn't see that today...though when the movie ends the screen raises, the curtain parts...and there is the mountain in all her glory!Delete
I hope you did watch the movie at Johnston Ridge…its worth it. Mount St Helen won't disappoint you.ReplyDelete
We did and she did not! It was a wonderful day! Post coming soon...Delete
Great blog today! Love the photos.ReplyDelete
The old "squatting" brings out all kinds of hidden treasures at almost eye level:)ReplyDelete
I hope you got a clear day for your up close and personal visit. Our first day on a motorcycle trip gave us only half a view. The other half was clouded in. One our last day in the area, we had a rental car to see the city and it was a picture perfect day. So we made the three hour trip back to view the whole mt. Boy are we glad we did. The ranger said the mt is clouded most of the time. What a great site!! Can't wait to revisit it with you two:)
Yep, happens all the time! Saw a cool slug recently that way!Delete
We had a sunny day today...post coming soon!
Boy this looks like a hike we would love. Great pictures! Having just come back from a mosquito hike where we had to practically run through it I am wishing I were there with you.ReplyDelete
We are surprised we've had virtually zero mosquitos in the past week!Delete
Soooo much greenery! We're heading into Washington in a couple of weeks and looking forward to it. Your photos are beautiful -- the ghost plant is magical!ReplyDelete
I LOVE the greenery here!Delete
Such beautiful photos...thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
Thanks for reading!Delete
What a great looking hike! We have not made it to Mt. St. Helens yet. Maybe this year. Where are you staying in the Castle Rock Area?ReplyDelete
Well I cannot recommend our park, the Toutle River RV Resort. Though a decent park with incredible amenities, it's location between I-5 and the train tracks are problematic. The trains run often and blow their horns, 24/7. I'd rather be at one of the places on hwy 504 with the possibility of no cell and/or internet than deal with the trains!Delete
The wetlands are amazing. I had no idea they were there (I've been saying that a lot). Especially like the "mountain was out" shot, but all are wonderful :-). We were planning a move to Missoula, Montana, and then the mountain lost her head and we stayed in California. Still looking forward to getting back up that way.ReplyDelete
Hmmmm, interesting to wonder how your lives might have been different if you'd made the move!Delete
I too love the wetlands. So much of this area is so heavily forested that it is nice to be out in the open at times!
Absolutely gorgeous shots! I've never seen the ghost plant before, quite stunning!ReplyDelete