Volcanos and The Gorge
As Mount St Helens recovers from its cataclysmic 1980 eruption, in the crater, pasty lava oozes, piling pancake-like slabs into a new 920-foot dome. Pink and purple lupines - gateway flowers for a healthier ecosystem - stud the pumice plains. Cougars now prowl here again, as well as bears, elk, mountain goats, and black-tailed deer.
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Why should I visit Volcanos and The Gorge?
TIP As well as admiring the horseshoe-shaped crater and 8,365-foot slopes you can explore one of the continent’s longest lava tubes. The path winds among vine maples and silver firs to an outlook revealing a dramatic mountain vista.
TIP head out after dark with binoculars and star maps
At 14,410 feet the iconic active volcano Mount Rainier can be seen from much of western Washington State. It is the most glaciated peak in mainland U.S.A. spawning six major rivers. You can enjoy the subalpine wildflower meadows ringing the volcano while ancient forest cover the lower slopes.
A drive on highway 14 along the north bank of the Columbia River which separates Washington from Oregon provides spectacular views of the Columbia.
TIP The Columbia Gorge Interpretive Centre explores 15,000 years of area history with a First Peoples exhibit, samples of valuable canoe cargo, and the world’s largest rosary collection..
TIP Go rafting or kayaking on the White Salmon and Klickitat Rivers
TIP Visit the Maryhill Winery with its breathtaking views of the Columbia and Mount Hood and the Maryhill Museum with its collection of Art Nouveau glass and works by Auguste Rodin.
Holiday Itineraries for Volcanos and The Gorge
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