It has taken me a couple of days of being back home for me to go through some photos from Mt Saint Helens. I was out of cell reception and was enjoying a haunted forest tradition in Yamhill, OR. No photos from there, but I’ve got plenty from the lovely national monument of the mountain that erupted in 1980. Anyway, we stayed the night in Vancouver and checked the webcam on the website to make sure that the mountain was clear, and it was!
I had explored the west side before that involves a very scenic drive up to Johnston’s Observatory. This time we decided to check out the east side, which is largely unpopulated and less touristy but still provides excellent views of the mountain. However, the roads are definitely windy and can be quite icy on the parts that are mostly in shadow from the forest. My Subaru was even slipping around on some black ice, so definitely be careful. The roads are forest service roads that are well maintained. Unfortunately we did not have any time to go on any hikes, but I would definitely like to go back and maybe hike around Spirit Lake to take a closer look at the wooden logs that were knocked into the lake over 33 years ago. Life at Spirit Lake took 5 years to return after the eruption, and now it has a marsh type of environment that wasn’t present beforehand.
An excellent place to have lunch is at the Smith Creek stop. You can sit on a picnic table and get a view of Mt Saint Helens on one side and Mt Adams on the other. Gorgeous.
Many hunters were visiting the park and would go to the viewspots to use their scopes. I’m not sure what exactly they were hunting for, but I’m assuming deer.