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Trail of Two Forests

Southwest Washington/Mount St. Helens, Washington

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Trail of Two Forests

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  • Entry to the Trail of Two Forests.- Trail of Two Forests
  • The trail to "The Crawl."- Trail of Two Forests
  • Informational signage along the trail.- Trail of Two Forests
  • Exploring the impressions left by the lava-burned old-growth forest.- Trail of Two Forests
  • Looking into an impression left by the lava-burned old-growth forest.- Trail of Two Forests
  • Ladder leading into "The Crawl."- Trail of Two Forests
  • Diagram of "The Crawl."- Trail of Two Forests
  • The exit of "The Crawl."- Trail of Two Forests
  • The new forest growing over the old.- Trail of Two Forests
  • An impression left by the lava-burned old-growth forest.- Trail of Two Forests
  • An impression left by the lava-burned old-growth forest.- Trail of Two Forests
  • Restrooms at the trailhead.- Trail of Two Forests
  • - Trail of Two Forests
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Unique geological area. Well-maintained.
Cons: 
Short trail and not much area for exploring.
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Region:
Southwest Washington/Mount St. Helens, WA
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
NW Forest Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Sponsored Contributor

The Trail of Two Forests provides the opportunity for you to see what happens when molten lava from an erupting volcano (Mount St. Helens) meets an old-growth forest. At this special destination, there is an abundance of large molds and impressions that have been left behind by lava that cooled around massive trees faster than the wood could be burned. 

The destination is appropriately named, as the impressions from the old-growth Douglas-fir and western red cedar forest are now surrounded by the younger forest that has grown in its place. Not to be confused with the recent Mount St. Helens eruption of 1980, the old-growth forest was burned by an enormous eruption approximately 2,000 years ago.

The trail loop is a good destination for family members of all ages, with well-maintained, raised-wood trails that wind through the forested lava beds. Look for the especially entertaining “crawl” space where you can climb down a ladder and crawl your way back out of a separate hole approximately 20 yards away.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Map

Field Guide + Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(7 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(54 within a 30 mile radius)

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