Devil’s Elbow: An Upfront View of Mt. St. Helens

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Boundary Trail

Sunshine and a prehistoric landscape. From the Trailhead on Johnston Ridge, I was only 5 1/2 miles north of the Mt. St. Helens Crater.

Mt. Adams behind Spirit Lake

It was a clear day providing views of the growing lava dome inside the old crater, the pumice plain and landslide deposits. The forest that once covered the area is long gone with ghostly white and grey remnants of the old trees evident in every direction.

The Trail provides many views of Mt. St. Helens, Spirit Lake (where Harry Truman refused to leave his Lodge and died in the blast) and Mt. Adams with a small but pretty lenticular cloud forming on its summit.

I spent some time at the Devil’s Elbow Viewpoint taking photos and marveling at the grandeur of the views.

In many ways the scenery is reminiscent of a Moon landscape. A few trees are growing, mainly noble fir, but the land is many centuries away from returning to its previous green splendor. It is a truly unique and amazing environment to meander through.

Another day to remember!

Golden-mantled living in the volcanic zone

Wind blowing clouds of ash into the air (steam rising off of the dome building inside the crater

Paintbrush and Penstemon growing in the volcanic soil

Johnston Ridge Observatory from the Boundary Trail

Mt. St. Helens from the Boundary Trail

A few Noble Firs are growing back in the blast zone (Coldwater Peak in background)

Fellow hiker leaving Devil’s Elbow






Categories: Washington Cascades HikesTags: , , ,

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