When visiting the Mount St. Helens National Monument, don't miss this short, 2.7-mile interpretive loop hiking trail.
When Mount St. Helens erupted in the late spring of 1980, a half a cubic mile of instantaneous glacial melt, ash, rock and vegetation poured down 14 miles of the North Fork Toutle River in just 10 minutes. As the avalanche tumbled down the river valley, sediment formed "hummocks," the general geological term for small knolls or mounds with extremely irregular surfaces.
As you meander through the hummocks, stop and read the excellent interpretive boards, catch a glimpse of Mount St. Helens, look for the wildlife that has settled in the numerous pond-filled depressions, and pull off of the trail to gain views of the North Fork Toutle River as it is today.
This hike can also be used as a departure point for the 3.7-mile, 1,800-foot climb up to Johnston Ridge Observatory.