Moon St. Helens

Peak Summited2020 Mount Saint Helens
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadClimbers’ Bivouac
EncounteredWildflowers blooming
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a partner
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusBugs were not too bad
Snow ConditionsIntermittent snow - not hard to cross
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

This hike surprised me. It was wild, lunar and otherworldly.

Sulfur rising.

Rocks falling.

Glaciers melting.

Wind whispering.

Ash flying.

– The initial 2-mile section of meadows was a full rainbow of wildflowers.
– The middle 2-3 mile section of rocky scramble and dusty trail was challenging in its steep ascent and uneven footing.
– The last 1-2 miles was straight up ash and scree. Tough to keep a good pace at the last push, but the views at the top – WOW, it's like a moonscape meets winterscape.
Total mileage we clocked = 12. This could be because it's not really a straight shot to the top, lots of zig-zagging on the trail, over boulders, especially if you go to the True Summit, a half-mile from where you reach the crater rim.
I don't know what it is about this hike, but it's easily in my top 3 hikes *ever*. How often do you get to walk the rim of a volcano that erupted a few decades ago?  The views of Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier aren't bad too. 🙂


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  1. Way to go, Kristin! Great photos, too. Looks like you had beautiful weather for this hike.
    What time did you start and finish?

    1. The weather was perfect, just a little windy at the top. We started at sunrise (6:07am), summited the true summit at 10:35am, spent 40 minutes at the top, then finished at 2:22pm. Overall time = 8 hours, 15 minutes.