Lava Canyon

Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument

Cougar, Washington

Follow signs along Forest Service Rd 83 off Forest Service Rd 90

The Muddy River has carved a gorge into an ancient lava flow on the south side of Mt. St. Helens. The Lava Canyon Interpretive Trail is an easy half mile that provides a number of views of the river and canyon. A steep, more rugged trail (with ladders at some places) crosses a suspension bridge and leads down to the floor of the canyon.

muddy river

Muddy River Drops into Lava Canyon (O04A0287)

basalt columns

Basalt Columns (O04A0289)
When basalt flows cool slowly, columns can form, typically but not limited to six sides. The width of the columns depends on how slowly the basalt cools.

suspension bridge over muddy river

Suspension Bridge over Muddy River (O04A0293)
This suspension bridge provides great views of Muddy River and Lava Canyon, and is located at the top of the trail that leads down to the canyon floor.

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