Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument
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 Drops into Lava Canyon (O04A0287)
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 (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.
You may also like these Mt. St. Helens destinations:
- Johnston Ridge Observatory, Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington
- Windy Ridge Observatory, Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington
- South Side Sights, Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington
While you're in the area, check out these sights:
- Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Vancouver, Washington
- April Snow At Paradise, Mt Rainier National Park, Washington
- Hiking At Sunrise, Mt Rainier National Park, Washington