Although not technically a trail, this ride begins with a 1.7 mile decent down an old logging road to the valley floor. Stick to the main route of travel (3100 Rd) as there are several off-shoots blocked by piles of dirt, overgrown etc. At the end of your downhill cross the small bridge and continue any way your little heart desires. The way back is the way you came, so don't wear yourself out too much. The landscape before you is the result of the May 18th, 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens. The large mudflow and debris avalanche roared down the N. fork of the Toutle river and created an uneven and curious scene not to be found anywhere else in the northwest. Small and large grass covered "hummocks" provide all sorts of play and jumping activity. From the large "parking lot" looking area at the bottom of the hill, there is a sandy road which goes east about four miles to the edge of the Volcanic Monument. Further travel is prohibited in this direction. The aforementioned road continues west as well. This is a Wildlife Viewing Area so be prepared for close encounters with herds of magnificent Roosevelt elk. I have never failed to see these wonderful animals wandering the valley floor. Although you can ride wherever you like, keep in mind that this terrain can go from being dry and firm to a gooey quicksand. Keep an eye out for elk horns laying around. They make a great souvenier! Also, take a break at the river's edge. It is accessible by a short hike at all times. You WILL love this place so treat it with respect please. The steep gravel road will get your adrenaline running if you're into that sort of thing
How to get there:
From I-5 take the State Route 504 exit (exit 51?). This junction is an hour north from Portland, OR and an hour and a half south of Seattle, WA. Also, known as Spirit Lake Memorial Highway, this road leads to the Forest Service visitor centers located in the devasted area from the May 18th, 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens. After passing through the small town of Toutle Lake, continue east on SR 504. Soon after crossing the remarkably high Hoffstadt creek bridge look for Weyerhauser Rd. 3100 on the right. This point is approximately 30-40 minutes from I-5. The road is gated and there is plenty of room for parking.