Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is NOT part of the National Park Service. It's administered by the Forest Service, which is part of the Department of Agriculture. And, no, I don't know why. Maybe the NPS doesn't want to give it full park status because the whole mountain's not all there anymore?
George and I had visited it once before, but neither of us can remember exactly when. (Let's see...the eruption was in 1980; we got married in 1990. It's 2012 now...maybe you can figure it out?)
|George & me at Elk Ranch Viewpoint|
We walked the Eruption Trail, and a little ways farther on the Boundary Trail, but not all the way down into the valley. (Yeah, I know--we wimped out.)
There are LOTS of wildflowers blooming, and there are tent caterpillars (yuck!) everywhere! Apparently they're more worried about the oxbow daisies and sheep sorrel than they are about the caterpillars and the damage to the trees. Go figure.
Click here to see more of the pictures I took: Mount St. Helens NVM