Plan B: Turned Out Great!

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Best-laid Plans

McClellan Viewpoint northwest of Oldman Pass provides a picture-perfect perspective of Mt. St. Helens. Well, it would have if the clouds has lifted.

Interestingly enough this is the same Major-General George McClellan who was eventually fired by President Lincoln in the Civil War for not taking the fight to the enemy.

Cedar Creek Historical Grist Mill

Prior to Civil War, McClellan was an explorer/surveyor in the Pacific Northwest. For those of you with a history bent, McClellan wasn’t particularly good at surveying either.

In any event, on n a mid-June, somewhat cloudy day, I took a drive over Oldman Pass north of Carson. It’s paved, rises to 3,000’ and goes over the divide between the Wind and Lewis River Drainages.

I had originally planned to hike in the Trapper Creek Wilderness north of Carson, but the access road to the north side of the Wilderness was closed.

After driving over the Pass, I stopped by the Ape Canyon Trailhead on the east side of Mt. St. Helens. But, the clouds had still not lifted.

Then it was off to the Cedar Creek covered bridge and historical grist mill. Nearby, I have caught many steelhead and spring chinook salmon in days gone past.


So many access roads to trailheads remain closed

Lupine and Beargrass

Clouds covering Mt. St. Helens from Lahar lava flows

Memories of McClellan

Cedar Creek covered bridge

McClellan in his own words

Beargrass in bloom on Oldman Pass

Mt. St. Helens from McClellan Viewpoint

Mt. St. Helens from McClellan Viewpoint on a much clearer day


Categories: Portland Outings, Washington Cascades HikesTags: , , ,


  1. Thanks for this beautiful look around Oldman Pass, John. Lovely photos of this worthy and beautiful place on earth. Great photos of the the fog on Mt. St. Helens and the mill photo is also wonderful. But my favorite is the flowering bear grass dotting the forest floor.

  2. Thanks for the update John. We might have passed you on the road there a few weeks back. We camped @Paradise Creek on the Wind River Road and had the same socked in views of Mt. Adams in the area. Rather than try the Ape Canyon MSH hikes to the south, we assumed the seasonal road NF99 would be open to access Windy River Trailhead to the SE…but amazingly we were block by 6 feet of snow on the road. We were not the only ones making a U-turn! Hope to return to this remote area! Always need to bring maps for Plan B!
    PS. I think Trapper Creek was blocked while they repair damage from the 2020 Big Hollow wildfire.

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