Stevenson Landing

Stevenson, Washington | C.1907

Photo Credit: Taylor Foster

Dubiously named “mountains,” the Hood, Adams, and St. Helens volcanoes create a triangle that has enchanted humans for thousands of years. Indigenous Peoples believed Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams were gods fighting with each other, firing stones and ash across the valleys as mere mortals watched from below. Legends grew that Mt. St. Helens was a beautiful maiden, with the other two belligerent mountains of the trifecta fighting over her luscious rocks.

Whether she had enough of the constant volcanic bickering or just was having a bad day, Mt. St. Helens and the area around the volcano changed dramatically on May 18, 1980. Triggered by an earthquake, the volcano erupted for over 9 hours, blowing plumes of debris and ash. To this day it is considered one of the most destructive eruptions in U.S. history, with gases so powerful they actually broke off a large side of the summit and reduced its height by over 1,000 feet.

Today, the Cascade Arc is a little more peaceful, with even Mt. St. Helens herself not showing any activity since 2008. From Stevenson Landing, Adventurers can hike through many wildlife preserves such as Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Columbia River Gorge. No longer hurling stones, hikers can even climb the three sleeping volcanoes—though we’ll stay back at the landing and watch their bags.

Written By: Seamus McMahon

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