Take a snowshoe, cross-country trek at Mount St. Helens

Four guided snowshoe hikes and a cross-country ski trip in January and February will take participants to locations in and around the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

The Mount St. Helens Institute is offering the treks as part of its winter program. The trips offer the opportunity to explore Mount St. Helens’ winter landscape, learning from an experienced guide about what makes the volcano so special.

All the treks are rated as moderate, covering 4 to 8 miles. The exception is the Ape Cave hike, which is rated easy and will cover a little more than 3 miles.

Trip leaders recommend registering early because trips have a limited number of participants and fill up quickly.

The price of each trip is $30 a person. If you don’t own your own snowshoes, rental is available for $15 per pair.

Here is a look at each of the 2014 snowshoe adventures:

Jan. 18: June Lake. This loop snowshoe will cover about 7 miles with a gentle elevation leading up to the lake, considered one of the most beautiful locations in the Northwest.

Jan. 25: Old Man Pass. This hike through a snow-covered forest will be enjoyable for both beginner and more experienced snowshoers.

Feb. 1: Mount Adams Ice Cave and Natural Bridges cross-country ski adventure. This is only the second cross-country ski trip the institute has offered. It will cover eight miles, starting at the Atkisson Sno-Park and will include visits to some Trout Lake-area landmarks. Participants will have to supply their own cross-country skis and equipment.

Feb. 15: Ape Cave. This adventure will cover a little more than three miles, taking participants to Ape Cave, where they will descend into the cave for a dark walk to the lava tube’s terminus. The trip will continue above ground, weaving in and out in a forest with a rich volcanic history. This hike is easy and relatively flat, perfect for beginners and more experienced snowshoers.

Feb. 22: June Lake. This is the same trip as the Jan. 18 hike.

To register or for more information, contact mshinstitute.org or 360-449-7883.


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