Ape Canyon Trail

Consensus:    (details)
  4.8 from 4 votes
blueBlack  Intermediate/Difficult from 2 votes
Rank: #3 in the Mount St. Helens National Monument area
#29 in WA, #2,004 Overall
Views: 2,665. Last 30 days: 155
Condition Details | Update
Jul 20 Green - Trail in pretty good shape, a few ...
Trail in the area near Amboy,
“A climb/decent up the base of Mt. St. Helens. It also connects to the IMBA epic, Plains of Abraham.”
Nick Alvey on Jun 10, 2013
Getting There     GPX File     Print
4.67.4 milesKilometers 1,569’478 m Ascent 4,187’1,276 m High 8% Avg Grade (4°)
Singletrack Type -256’-78 m Descent 2,875’876 m Low 25% Max Grade (14°)
Because of its height abbove sea level, this trail accumulates a lot of snow. You'll have access to the trail as early as June (when snow generally melts), however it's not officially opened until deemed ready by the Forest reserve. You can check the status here: www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mountsthelens/recarea/?recid....

To park here you need a Northwest Forest Pass which you can purchase online or on location (near the Ape Canyon Cave).
1:58 average time for 4.6 miles. Details

You can park right in front of the starting point. The trail is 100% singletrack that gradually takes you up the southeast side of the volcano, Mt. Saint Helens. You'll occasionally get openings with gorgeous views across the plains, a devastation spurred by its eruption in the 80's. Views are pretty unique as you'll see the direct path of the lava flow down the volcano.

Once you get near the top, you'll leave the forest and head into ashen volcanic plains (marked as the ending point on the trail). You'll have an amazing view with some of the Pacific Northwest's tallest mountains surrounding you. You'll of course have Saint Helens in front of you, however depending on the visibility you can also have a clear view of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams all at this point.

It's from here that you can decide to tackle The Plains of Abraham, which is one of the IMBA epic trails that tracks the rider around the eastern perimeter of the volcano. It's a very favorable ride (as an IMBA epic should be), but considering the altitude gain, it is covered in snow most of the year. It's recommended to try tackling it from July to October.
View in 3D
4.7 (40)
An amazing journey back in time to the scene of the Mt. St. Helens eruption.
near Amboy, WA
4.3 (3)
Flowy Singletrack with beautiful waterfalls followed by a brutally hard climb...
near Amboy, WA

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PHOTOS of Ape Canyon Trail
  4.3 from 7 votes
Mt. St. Helens. (Amboy, WA)
  4.0 from 2 votes
Mt. St. Helens from Ape Canyon Trail (Morton, WA)
  3.7 from 3 votes
Getting up close and personal views of Mt. St. Helens from the Ape Canyo... (Morton, WA)
  3.7 from 3 votes
Headed up the trail, about to enter the Plains of Abraham. (Morton, WA)
  3.7 from 3 votes
St. Helens, Plains of Abraham. Found a hidden wheel-sized hole in a stre... (Morton, WA)
  3.5 from 4 votes
Mt. St. Helens. (Morton, WA)
  3.3 from 3 votes
Out of the trees and heading to the mountain. Almost to the hike-a-bike... (Morton, WA)
  3.3 from 3 votes
The sign marker for the beginning of the Plains of Abraham, one of the I... (Morton, WA)
  3.0 from 3 votes
Trail narrows with a drop off on the right side. (Morton, WA)
  3.0 from 3 votes
The end of the Ape Canyon trail, once you leave the forest. This shot wa... (Morton, WA)