Agenda Discovery Week Month

Curated for Me

Ape & Lava Canyon Hikes with Plains of Abraham and Ships Trail.

Endorphin Drip Hiking and Cycling Club of Portland
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Endorsed by Curators:
Sep 16 7:00AM - 8:00AM

Meet: Sunset Transit Center

Note: If you have never been to the Sunset Transit Center, please allow extra time to find meetup location, as we will be leaving on time.

When: Saturday, September 16, 2017
Time: 7:00 AM
Hiking Distance: ~ 16 miles (10.6 Ape Canyon, 5.5 Lava Canyon)
Difficulty: Difficult

Pace: 3-3.5 MPH
Elevation Gain: ~ 2700 (1300 Ape Canyon, 1400 Lava Canyon)

Bathrooms: At Lava Canyon Trailhead

Lunch: Please pack a lunch. We will stop for lunch along the Lava Canyon Trail.

I did this hike in July- had a great time! This may be our last opportunity for a repeat before they close the Lower Lava Canyon Trail for the Winter.

THIS IS AN ALL DAY EVENT. PLEASE DO NOT SIGN UP IF YOU NEED TO BE BACK BY A CERTAIN TIME.

Route Description: We will hike the Ape Canyon trail along the Muddy River lahar, (a flow of mud, rock and ash) taking us to the stand of old growth Douglas Fir and hemlock. At 4 miles we leave the forest, entering the blast zone of the 1980 eruption, with Ape Canyon running off to the right at this point. Here we will also join the LooWit trail to take us up to the Plains of Abraham. We will hike to the spring at the edge of the cliff, to take in the views and take a few pictures. This is our turn-around point. We will descend our route back to the parking lot.

Next, we will hike the Upper and Lower Lava Canyon Trails. The Upper Trail is an easy 1.3 mile loop with 300' of elevation gain. This is a fun hike with a suspension bridge and a beautiful canyon. The lower trail is most difficult as it descends steeply into the canyon. If you are uncomfortable with heights, this segment is not for you. Beginning at the suspension bridge, the trail crosses an exposed cliff face followed by a water crossing with a cable grab-line. A 30-foot metal ladder descends a vertical cliff providing access to the canyons deepest recesses and roaring waterfalls. The trail soon intersects Ship Trail 184B which climbs 0.2 mile to a viewpoint atop the Ship, a lava formation that overlooks a long series of waterfalls in the lower canyon. A few tenths of a mile further, the canyon begins to broaden and flatten as it approaches a large alluvial fan spreading into the Smith Creek valley. Here the Lava Canyon Trail ends where it intersects Smith Creek Trail 225 (http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mountsthelens/recarea/?recid=31640).

We will plan to have lunch at the top of the Ship.

"The Lava Canyon Suspension Bridge is one of the true engineering marvels of Northwest trail construction. It's about 100 feet long and spans the Muddy River in the middle of Lava Canyon. The bridge was built in 1993, by Sahale, a firm that specializes in trail bridges and construction."

"The bridge has no stiffening members under the deck at all, so each board is free to move bound only by the two cables it hangs from. Each board sinks a couple of inches with each step, giving the bridge what some have called a "trampoline" feel."

What to bring... hiking boots, plenty of snacks/fluids and your camera.

NW Forest Pass: I have one. A day pass costs $5 per vehicle if you don't have one.

What not to bring...

NO DOGS, please.

Carpooling: It is 91.7 miles from Sunset Transit Center to Lava Canyon Trailhead. The suggested donation to the driver is .10 per mile , which equals $18. Add another $2 to help cover $5 parking fee for total of $20.

I strongly advise you to only sign up for hikes that meet your level of experience and health condition. I am an unpaid volunteer and as such assume no liability for your health and safety.

How to find us:Meet in front of Java Station, next to elevator heading down to Max Tracks. Departing promptly at 7:00AM.

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