Well, maybe a wee bit... There's a great trail that starts out from the Visitor's Center, and goes up the mountain. In the past I've been able to go a mile or so before the trail was snow covered and I had to turn around. But this year has had record snowfall, so we'll see.
So far, so good. And we even have some nice company on the trail.
But the trails I have taken in the past are closed a short distance up the mountain, and we are diverted onto a side trail. And even that is snow covered in a lot of parts. We trudge on through the snow for maybe a half mile, and finally turn around.
There are a few flowers along the trail, but nothing like what I've seen in the past.
There are Western Anemones -
And Avalanche Lilies, which appear right after snow melt.
This is a photo from when I was here in 2006.
In addition to the deer, we saw a couple marmots.
I was too slow with my zoom, but Phil got a nice picture.
In spite of the snow, the hike was still a lot of fun. There were more adventures in our Mount Rainier day, and I'll cover them in the next post. But for now - THE END.
We did a couple more hikes while on the south side of Mount St. Helens. The first was to June Lake, a trail that mostly goes through the woods, with occasional views of the mountain, and lava fields from many centuries ago. This is not the side that erupted in 1980, so the mountain looks fairly normal from here.
The lake is 1.3 miles from the trailhead. I know there is supposed to be a waterfall here - we could hear it, but it was around the corner.
Ah! How pretty! A little hard to get a picture of looking right into the sun - it looked better in person.
Another hike we did was down into Ape Cave, the longest known lava tube in North America, at almost 2 1/2 miles long. You enter via stairs in the middle of the tube, then can walk either the upper part, which is very difficult, or the lower part, which is easy. Guess which way I went!
It was fairly easy going, except that it was pitch black. I was happy I had bought a new bright flashlight recently.
We walked about a half mile (seemed longer) until we reached "The Meatball," a lava boulder wedged halfway to the cave's 30-foot ceiling.
From there we turned around and scurried back to the sunshine.
We then moved our rigs over to the east side of the mountain, where we could drive to the Windy Ridge viewpoint.
From here you get a good look at the crater which is a result of the 1980 eruption.
All that wood in the water is dead trees taken down by the blast.
I climbed the 439 steps up to the top of the ridge, where you could get a good look at a couple other volcanoes - Mt. Adams here -
And a little glimpse of Mt. Rainier.
We stayed at two different Sno Parks on our trip around the mountain - wonderful spots, and free if you have a Senior Pass.