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Mount St. Helens NVM: Hummocks Trail

wa

Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 2.3 miles


This gentle 2.3-mile loop trail explores the rolling hills, valleys and wetlands created by the debris avalanche of the 1980 eruption, complete with viewpoints and interpretive signs.
  • Hummocks Trail
  • Volcano View
  • Hummocks Trail
  • North Fork Toutle
  • Beaver Tree

The Hummocks, composed of 100s of tons of rock, ash and mud, are the result of the massive eruption and landslide of 1980 that buried a large section of ancient forest. Now the area is a hodgepodge of mounds and valleys, dotted with ponds and wetlands, and a network of gurgling creeks at the base of the new Coldwater Lake Valley.

Start the Hummocks Trail at the southern trailhead, along gently rolling hills with immediate views of Mount St. Helens' enormous crater. Interpretive signs along the first section explain the eruption and creation of this new area, indicating that life is returning to the "blast zone." Pass several small ponds and curve around knobby cinder mounds where vegetation has started making a comeback and wildflowers color the slopes during summer months. After 0.8 mile, arrive at a junction with the Boundary Trail and outstanding views of the volcano and larger landslide area, beyond a small wetlands lake.

Turn right (west), staying on the Hummocks Trail, and wind through more narrow valleys and past more ponds to a large grove of alder trees. The trail follows a small creek draining from one of the larger wetlands to an exposed area with views down the scoured valley of the North Fork Toutle River. A short side trail diverts left to a wider viewpoint near the banks of the river channel.

Continuing on, larger hummocks rise up, exhibiting varied colors of rock and mineral composition. The trail then skirts another large pond with a wide beaver dam near the outlet before climbing a few short, alder-shaded switchbacks to return to the parking area.

-Mapped by Eli Boschetto  Bosco Mountain Photo

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