Ape Canyon to the Plains of Abraham 10/13/2015

This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
Post Reply
User avatar
aiwetir
Posts: 501
Joined: December 10th, 2014, 11:54 am
Contact:

Ape Canyon to the Plains of Abraham 10/13/2015

Post by aiwetir » October 31st, 2015, 10:32 pm

Since the weather isn't so conductive to my working or playing, I'm gonna post some trip reports

Image

13 Oct 2015
Mt. St. Helens / Ape Canyon


Behold the Plains of Abraham.


Our longest hike with the most elevation gain. Not sure about the mileage in the stats, but it’s more than 10 miles for sure.

The trail starts along the Muddy River lahar winding in and out of the trees with occasional peeks at Mt. St. Helens. The climb is gradual with a couple of downhills on the way in, but mostly up. As you climb, you pass through an interesting stand of old-growth, starting out with Douglas firs, passing through Pacific silver-firs and ending at timberline with noble firs and other alpine species. You will see some of the largest Pacific silver-firs anywhere here.

The interesting thing about this stand is that it is nearly all evenly aged, I’m guessing around 500-700 years (or more). There are not many large snags or many large logs on the ground. The canopy is not multi-storied and the understory is not well established with multi-aged layers of the shade tolerant Pacific silver-firs.

Near the top, you break out of the trees onto the pumice fields, passing a couple of precipitous views of Ape Creek’s slot canyon. There is a section of crumbling trail up here so take care. When you pass a large cairn, you can see across to the Plains of Abraham.

While we only got views of Mt. St. Helens in the dark on the way out, the hike was spectacular. We spotted a herd of mountain goats, heard some coyotes, and had a brief encounter with grey jays. Our usual late departure had us a little unexpectedly hiking out in the dark for the last hour, but we brought lights.

I’m looking forward to the spring wildflowers up here and maybe a mountain bike ride someday soon.

 
Image

 

Image

 

Image

 

Image

 

Image

 

Image

 

Image

 

Image

 

Image

 

Image

 

Image
 
  • 11.3 mi Distance
  • 4 hrs 50 min Moving Time
  • 6 hrs 15 min Total Time
  • 2.3 mph Moving Speed
  • 1.8 mph Avg Speed
  • 33:15 min/mi Pace
  • 1 hrs 24 min Stopped Time
  • 2146 ft Ascent
  • 2148 ft Descent
Last edited by aiwetir on August 2nd, 2016, 3:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
- Michael

User avatar
sgyoung
Posts: 317
Joined: November 3rd, 2013, 7:30 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Ape Canyon to the Plains of Abraham 10/13/2015

Post by sgyoung » November 2nd, 2015, 10:03 am

Cool TR. That looks like a nice hike and beautiful area. It seems like you've been on fun hikes lately. Thanks for the really nice reports.

User avatar
aiwetir
Posts: 501
Joined: December 10th, 2014, 11:54 am
Contact:

Re: Ape Canyon to the Plains of Abraham 10/13/2015

Post by aiwetir » November 2nd, 2015, 10:19 am

sgyoung wrote:Cool TR. That looks like a nice hike and beautiful area. It seems like you've been on fun hikes lately. Thanks for the really nice reports.
Aren't all hikes fun :D

Actually the end of that wasn't too much fun, wife was grumpy hiking out in the dark. I love the dark.
- Michael

User avatar
Chip Down
Posts: 1776
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: Ape Canyon to the Plains of Abraham 10/13/2015

Post by Chip Down » November 2nd, 2015, 8:05 pm

aiwetir wrote:Aren't all hikes fun :D
Clearly, you're doing it wrong. Oh, wait, maybe I'm doing it wrong. :|

Anyway, my trip into that area was fun. Insanely scary and stupidly adventurous, but absolutely fun. PoA is a really cool place. It's so common for mountains to just ease into the surrounding terrain. Always cool when the mountain just abruptly ends. Kinda like South Sister in the Green Lakes area.

User avatar
-Q-
Posts: 1433
Joined: July 5th, 2008, 10:42 pm

Re: Ape Canyon to the Plains of Abraham 10/13/2015

Post by -Q- » November 2nd, 2015, 11:08 pm

Chip Down wrote:
aiwetir wrote:Aren't all hikes fun :D
Clearly, you're doing it wrong. Oh, wait, maybe I'm doing it wrong. :|

Anyway, my trip into that area was fun. Insanely scary and stupidly adventurous, but absolutely fun. PoA is a really cool place. It's so common for mountains to just ease into the surrounding terrain. Always cool when the mountain just abruptly ends. Kinda like South Sister in the Green Lakes area.
Interesting analogy. you are 100% right. Very cool

Post Reply