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Plains of Abraham
A lunar landscape? No, it was the Plains of Abraham on the eastern flanks of Mt. St. Helens, a truly unique environment.
The 2 1/2 square-mile relatively flat area lies at around 4,000 feet. As the crow flies, it’s only two miles from the summit of the mountain with front-row seat views of the Ape and Nelson Glaciers.
Volcanic ash, basalt boulders and pumice cover the landscape.
On a beautiful mid-August day I hiked the 4 1/2 mile Ape Canyon Trail to the Loowit Trail where I headed north. Soon I was on the Plains of Abraham. What an impressive scene.
After passing a wonderful camping site near a natural springs, I continued toward the northern end of the Plains and stopped for a mid-day lunch. Returning slowly across the Plains, I marveled at the unworldly appearance of the stark scenery.
All in all the hike was 13.5 miles in length with 2,600 feet of elevation gain.
Salmonberry and Red Elderberry