Mt. St. Helens NM, Washington – June Lake

Vanilla Leaf.

While still an active volcano Mt. St. Helens is currently resting, but the evidence of past activity is easy to find in the Monument. The heavily forested hike to June Lake would eventually lead us to the Lava Fields from the Mt. St Helens eruption of 2,500 years ago. We thought it would be interesting to see how much recovery had taken place in that time.

June lake is a tiny tarn that has a couple of gorgeous wateralls feeding it from the snowfields above.

From the lake the trail heads steeply up through a recovery forest onto the lava flow beneath the southern ridge of the mountain.

Bear Grass

The ridge above is, from the south, the top edge of the blast crater that spent all it’s force to the north.
Once up into the lava field we were surprised to see very little substantial recovery with the exception of smaller plants and flowers which were in bloom here in early July and a few small evergreens.  This lava field is from 2,500 years ago, not 1980.

Pink Mountain Heather

Cardswell’s Penstemon

Tomorrow, our last day at Mt. St. Helens, we’ll take a hike on the Boundary Trail to view the Blast Crater.

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2 responses »

  1. Incredible photos as always. Hope you do take the time to go up to the visitor center. The photos and radio traffic during the event are riveting.

  2. Yes we did Anne, and it is one of the finest visitors centers out there.

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