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Seattle Trails

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument: Plains of Abraham

Hike into a vast, volcano-crafted moonscape in the (much-reduced) shadows of Mount St. Helens on this 10-mile out-and-back.

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Trail Facts

  • Distance: 8.0

Waypoints

Ash swollen creek flowing off falls into Ape Canyon.

Location: 46.2002182006836, -122.133674621582

©Alan Bauer

ABR001

Location: 46.2491302490234, -122.136177062988

Go SE up gated Forest Service road

ABR002

Location: 46.2446098327637, -122.136909484863

Stunning views to NW of Spirit Lake. Since St. Helens’ eruption in 1980, the once lifeless lake has rebounded to support more fish and plants than ever

ABR003

Location: 46.2396621704102, -122.137962341309

Continue upward on a grassy carpet lined with foxglove, Indian paintbrush, and other wildflowers
as St. Helens reveals a full-frontal view of the eastern crater

ABR004

Location: 46.2336311340332, -122.15030670166

Go L on Trail 216D, leaving dirt road for steep, treeless ridgeline

ABR005

Location: 46.2304306030273, -122.148498535156

Follow gnarly pumice ridge; ascend steep hill on cable-supported ladder

ABR006

Location: 46.2229232788086, -122.148666381836

Stay L @ Y

ABR007

Location: 46.21826171875, -122.142486572266

First views S of Plains of Abraham, an ashen, boulder-strewn expanse created by avalanches and mudflows

ABR008

Location: 46.2176895141602, -122.140815734863

Following switchback, go R @ unmarked Y into a chalky and desertlike landscape

ABR009

Location: 46.213321685791, -122.139320373535

Straight @ 3-way

ABR010

Location: 46.2005424499512, -122.134353637695

Overlook: Ash-swollen creek disappears hun-dreds of feet into Ape Canyon’s 1,000-ft. walls. Splendid views of Mts. St. Helens and Adams; retrace steps to car