hike: Mount St. Helens – Harry’s Ridge
Hike though the blast zone at Mount St. Helens to Harry’s Ridge to see the area’s remarkable recovery since the 1980 eruption.
distance: 8 miles (out and back)
elevation gain: 1,200 ft.
best season: summer
parking pass: NW Forest Pass
hike description: OregonHikers: Harry’s Ridge hike
drive time from Portland: 2 hours 20 minutes
Starting at the Johnston Ridge Observatory, we took the Boundary Trail to the Harry’s Ridge Trail for an out-and-back hike.
This was my first time hiking here, and while we didn’t get to see Mount St. Helens which was hidden in the clouds, the wildflowers were still in their prime. The fog was heavy when we arrived, obscuring views all around and misting on us at times.
As we hiked up into the thick fog on top of Harry’s Ridge, the wind picked up and made it cold enough that I put on a puffy under my rain jacket and even needed gloves… in July! Spirit Lake is just below the ridge, and we could tell it was there, but it wasn’t easy to see. We had lunch at the top next to volcano monitoring equipment, and then as we were starting to head back, the fog started to lift. Before hiking back to the trailhead, we decided to continue down the ridge for better views of Spirit Lake. It’s amazing to see all of the logs on the lake, still floating on the lake 39 years after the eruption! On the way back, we could see the hills and peaks around us, but the mountain never came out of the clouds.