Prepare to be blown away by the powerful ecological beauty on this small group tour of Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Departing from Seattle, this tour is a day-long adventure through lava fields, geological wonders, and burgeoning forests.
Your Mt. St. Helens National Monument tour begins in Seattle where you'll be picked up in a luxury crossover vehicle for the trip south. On your way to Mt. St. Helens you may stop at Lewis and Clark State Park to bask in the shadow of the old-growth forests that once covered the blast zone, or at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge to explore estuary wetlands among a symphony of birdsong. Once in the Volcanic Monument, you'll traverse the barren landscapes, stopping for a peaceful hike along the Hummocks Trail or to take in the still blue waters of Coldwater Lake.
After enjoying a picnic lunch, you'll arrive at the Johnston Ridge Observatory. There, you'll have a magnificent view of the steaming volcano and the surrounding topography. Your guide, an experienced naturalist, will take you through the amazing series of geological events surrounding the famous 1980 eruption that, in a few short hours, changed the landscape of this region forever. Learn about the work that goes into monitoring volcanoes and what mysteries continue to be revealed to geologists through the volcano's ongoing activity. At the observatory, you'll also hear first-hand eyewitness accounts of the 1980 eruption from the survivors themselves.
From there, the Mt. St. Helens walking tour will embark on a journey down Eruption Trail, where you'll learn how the explosion of molten rock transformed the land into what it is today. Geological formations like lava domes and landslide deposits are all on display. Your naturalist guide will then lead you down Hummocks Trail, site of the biggest landslide ever recorded in human history. This area also showcases how nature reacts to the destructive force of a volcano and how the environment uses such events to regrow and reinvent itself.
You won't want to forget your camera on this astounding Mt. St. Helens walking tour, to capture the ecological spectacle of the land surrounding one of the continent's most active volcanoes. Dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes so you can make the most out of this exciting Mount St. Helens walking tour.