Monday, August 24, 2015

Trail of Two Forests

Inside a tree cast.
Near the Ape Cave at Mt. St. Helens is the Trail of Two Forests.  The name refers to the forest that grows there today, and the forest that was growing there 2,000 years ago when a huge lava flow engulfed many massive trees.  The trees burned more slowly than the lava began to solidify, with a strange effect. Tree casts formed around the logs, so that the shapes of many trees were preserved in rock.  A boardwalk next to the parking area leads right to the tree casts.  The star attraction is a pair of connecting tree casts that visitors can crawl right through!  There are also many shallow, partially collapsed lava tubes visible in the area.  It's a must to add a quick stop there if you're exploring in the area.

A partially collapsed lava tube.
Tree cast.
Partially collapsed lava tube.

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