A herd of elk, lots of bear sign, ripe huckleberries, and a prehistoric landscape. From the Trailhead, only 5 1/2 miles north of the Mt. St. Helens Crater, I could see my destination, 5,722-foot Coldwater Peak.
It was a sunny, 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), Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, St. Helens Lake (home of many logs from trees destroyed by the pyroclastic flows from the 1980 eruption) and Mt. Rainier.
White Rhododendron, Orange Agoseris, and Lupine & Paintbrush
In many ways the scenery is reminiscent of a Moon landscape. A few trees are growing, 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!