Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Greening of St Helens

I just finished up 37 miles of great hiking in the Mount St Helens area and let me tell you that it is amazing how fast the forest and landscape are coming back to life there. I first hiked the region in 1989 over a blasted land of gray, gray and more gray! Now the ridges are green-sub alpine firs are over 20 feet tall. Just amazing. Lots of wildlife and wildflowers and surprisingly very little people. My 21 mile loop down the Green River Valley and back along Vanson Peak and Goat Mountain I saw no one! And my 16.5 mile hike into the Mount Margaret Backcountry Lakes I only encountered one person-the backcountry ranger! No one around! So, if you are looking for a nice wilderness experience in the St Helens region-I have two picked out for you. They'll be in my upcoming book, Backpacking Washington. Next week I move back up to the volcano in chief, Rainier! See you on the trail!

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