Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
?
ADA accessible
Yes
Guided tours
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass

Pros

Unique geological area. Well-maintained.

Cons

Short trail and not much area for exploring.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Features

Geologically significant
ADA accessible

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Southwest Washington/Mount St. Helens, Washington
Southwest Washington/Mount St. Helens, Washington
Southwest Washington/Mount St. Helens, Washington

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Southwest Washington/Mount St. Helens, Washington
Southwest Washington/Mount St. Helens, Washington
Southwest Washington/Mount St. Helens, Washington

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