Searching for Sasquatch and Lava Bombs on the Plains of Abraham


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Plains of Abraham

A southern Utah desert? The home of the elusive Sasquatch? 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 blast zone is a relatively flat area that 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 Velson Glaciers.

Volcanic ash, lava bombs, pumice and a few small trees beginning to grow cover the landscape.

Lava bombs and small trees on the Plains of Abraham

On a sunny, early October day I hiked the 4 1/2 mile Ape Canyon Trail to the Loowit (Round-the-Mountain) Trail where I headed north. Soon I was on the Plains of Abraham. What an impressive scene.

I continued on to a wonderful camping site near a natural springs. I marveled at the stark beauty of the environment. After all the tumultuous times of 2020, this was an outing I solely needed. Nature’s beauty is an amazing antidote to the ills of the world.

Lahar (remains of a mudflow composed of a slurry of pyroclastic material, rocky debris and water) on Mt. St. Helens

Not toothpicks, but the remains of trees caught in the pyroclastic blast from Mt. St. Helens last eruption

Oddly enough, the trail up Ape Canyon passes many large old-growth Douglas Firs up to nine-feet across at their bases

Fellow hikers heading up to the Pains of Abraham

Upper trail coming out of Ape Canyon

A hazy Mt. Rainier

Round-the Mountain Trail

 

 

Categories: Washington Cascades HikesTags: ,

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