Access roads to the east side of Mt. St. Helens opened July 4th weekend, just in time for wildflower blooms. Let's hike Norway Pass to the viewpoints overlooking spirit lake to photograph sunset.
In the morning, we can stop by Iron Creek Falls to shoot a pretty falls about 500 feet off FR 25, just before the turnoff to Windy Ridge.
Roundtrip 4.5 miles
Elevation Gain 300 ft
Highest Point 4500 ft
Detailed trail info here: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/seasonal-hikes/hikes/norway-pass
Photos of the area and some of the wildflowers we may find:
From the town of Randle, follow FR 25 south towards Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument (Windy Ridge) for 19 miles to the signed trailhead on the left (east) side of the road. Park and follow the short trail to the base of the falls in a few hundred feet.
Since sunset is so late this time of year, I've reserved a campsite to avoid arriving back at 4am. The campsite at Iron Creek Campground accommodates 2 cars and 6 people (in tents). The plan is to arrive early enough to set up camp and make a meal before we head off to the Norway Pass trail head. There is a restroom nearby and potable water. Cost for the site is $29.00 to split among us ($10 more for the second car). There is usually enough room for 2-3 tents in a spot, so try to share tents.
General trip planning info:
~Headlamps or flashlights required
~There will be a 15 minute courtesy wait at the park & ride while we arrange carpools
~Please have cash on hand to split gas and other traveling costs with your carpool.
~Check the weather and bring appropriate clothing for day and evening temps. It gets COLD as the sun sets even if it was hot mid-day, especially at higher elevations.
~10 essentials required
~Mosquito season - bring plenty of repellent!
~Last time I visited, only a NW forest pass was required per car, but it is now possible each person will need to pay $8 entry fee if you do not own either an America the Beautiful pass or NW Forest Pass per person. More info here: http://www.wta.org/hiking-info/passes/passes-and-permit-info/what-pass-do-i-need-faq
~In order to reduce travel time, please have all your equipment, gas, and food purchases taken care of before arriving at the Park and Ride
Are you joining us for the first time? New to hiking or camping?
To help set expectations, as well as promote a safe and enjoyable trip for all, please read the following link: http://www.meetup.com/hiking-522/pages/Be_safe%2C_be_prepared/