Vanson Ridge Trails

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

This work party starts at 10:00AM
Sat, Aug 11 to Sat, Aug 18, 2012


Photo by Janice Van Cleve.

WTA is one of the few groups working on the Vanson Ridge Trail, within a stoneís throw of whatís left of Mount Saint Helens. Hike through silver-forest trees in the volcano blast zone to the pocket of green that will be your camp site for the week.

Easy .75 mile 100' loss to Vanson Lake. Be prepared to hike up to 3-5 miles a day.

Your work will take you up towards Vanson Peak or perhaps towards Deadman Lake. There are drainage issues, the trail tread is in need of repair and brush is starting to encroach on the trail. The view back toward Mount St Helens might be a distraction though.

Mt. St. Helens is renowned for the devastating eruption which took place in May of 1980. Shaken by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, the north face of this tall symmetrical mountain collapsed in a massive rock debris avalanche. Nearly 230 square miles of forest was blown down or buried beneath volcanic deposits. At the same time a mushroom-shaped column of ash rose thousands of feet skyward and drifted downwind, turning day into night as dark, gray ash fell over eastern Washington and beyond. The eruption lasted 9 hours, but Mount St. Helens and the surrounding landscape were dramatically changed within moments. In 1982, the President and Congress created the 110,000-acre National Volcanic Monument for research, recreation, and education. Inside the Monument, the environment is left to respond naturally to the disturbance. And although the geology of the area tends to make the headlines, Mt. St. Helens and the surrounding area were popular for hiking, climbing and other recreation long before the eruption. Today, the area has reasserted itself as one of the most popular and iconic places to visit in the northwest. Whatís more, the Monument itself stands as a testament to the resilience of nature as vegetation and wildlife populations have returned to the region in great numbers.

This is one of our Volunteer Vacations. There is $235 fee ($195 for WTA members). You will be required to fill out an application form including your outdoors experience and medical history before we can allow you to join the trip.

This is a week-long work party. You must be 18 years or older to attend. Participants must be able to attend all days. Late arrivals and early departures are not allowed. Driving directions:
We will be meeting at Exit 49 on I-5 in Castle Rock. Look for the big Shell Station. Your most excellent Crew Leader has a cute little Subaru. There will also be a USFS truck parked there. Meeting time is 10:00am.


GPS coordinates are only approximate, please always use the written driving directions when trying to find a trail head

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