The area to the East and North-East of Mount St Helens is remote and wild. It takes quite a long while to get there. But the trip is worth it, because the East side was not so well cleared up as the West, so you can still see standing blasted forests of dead, burnt trees.
This excursion usually starts from Morton, WA, then drives through Randle and South into the Volcanic Monument. It is quite a long drive, until we get to Forest Road 99, but then we stop at Bear Meadow – the venue where Gary Rosenquist took his famous, rapid photographs of the beginning of the 1980 eruption. After this, we stop at the Blasted Forest, Miners' Car, Meta Lake, Spirit Lake viewpoint, and Windy Ridge. We stop for our picnic lunch at Smith Creek Viewpoint. Then we return to the Harmony Trail trailhead, where we take the difficult hike down to the shore of Spirit Lake. When we have managed to get back up the 600 feet to the parking lot, the excursion will end.
The full itinerary can be downloaded below.
Note: Please book ahead. Do not just turn up to one of the muster points, as we will have to cancel an excursion if there are insufficient booked in.