The bike ride on Mount St. Helens was one ride i will never forget! An out 'n' back up Ape Canyon Trail onto the Plains of Abraham provides so much diversity and beauty that you don't even realize you just pedalled 24 miles.
Much of the initial climb is in lush forest with periodic views of the surrounding Northwest Volcanoes. As you climb higher, the open fields of pumice and forests of destruction open up to views of St. Helens. There's something mind-blowing about see the smoke come out of the crater - and knowing that 57 people were killed in 1980 when 1300 feet of the mountaintop exploded.
After exiting the the forest, the trail climbs up to the "Plains of Abraham," and cruises along the flank of the mountain.
Filled with pumice and volcanic rock, this area is a testament to its recent violent history. Yet, in the midst of it all, we saw small creeks and amazing displays of wildflowers. A herd of elk seemed to be enjoying the views from a ridge nearby.
After this amazing nature experience, we still had miles of excellent singletrack carve down! What a ride!