Jul 20, 2012
- Type of Outing
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Ape Canyon
- Region: South Cascades -- Mt. St. Helens
- Agency: USFS Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
- Trails: Ape Canyon (#234)
- Avg Rating: 2.50
- Why You Should Go Now
- Wildflowers blooming
- Be Aware Of
- No water source
The trail climbs the valley along the tree-covered ridges with overgrown sections of fern, salmonberry and vine maple.
The Mountain did show itself in the early morning before going back behind clouds. I saw many flowers in bloom, including lupine, partridge foot, tiger lilies, paintbrush, pearly everlasting, yarrow, queens cup, anemone, and penstemon. The lupines, both the taller and short dusty alpine varieties were wonderfully fragrant; and hummingbirds buzzed me next morning for standing too near their patch of paintbrush.
I saw marmot, ground squirrels, grouse, and a small toad among the flowers - who seemed to be after a breakfast of ants.
I did get rained on a bit as I set up my tent for the night, but things were cozy and dry inside. My mini aussie didn't go with me, as I'd read dogs are not allowed; but Saturday I saw many dogs on the trail. Probably best that she stayed home as the mountain bikers, though polite and welcomed by me, come around the corners quickly and my dog may have had trouble staying out of the way on the narrow trail.
I had planned to hike the Plains of Abraham loop, but didn't come across a water source -- so I did a few miles in either direction before heading back to the car.
The trails and parking lots are really busy at MSH, probably because Rainier is still melting out -- I ran across a number of groups doing the Loowit trail, all around the mountain.
One trio of young guys said that was their plan 'if it doesn't kill us.' Uphill with a heavy backpack can feel that way. But downhill? Or dinking around the flower meadows with a camera? I'm euphoric and grinning -- I love being out there with the beauty of nature all around me.