Lava Canyon Trail

S Cascades
Cougar, WA 98603

This hike begins with the wide, paved Lava Canyon Interpretive Trail, which leads to a viewing platform overlooking a stunning canyon-a deep, jagged cut through a thick layer of ancient lava. From the viewing area, the trail loops down to the canyon rim in a long series of steep (for wheelchair users) switchback turns offering excellent views. The Muddy River cuts through the heart of this basalt canyon, which was scoured clean by the rushing mudflows during the 1980 eruption. The main Lava Canyon Trail continues east along the wild gorge of the Muddy River. You won't find grand vistas or sweeping panoramas here. You will find a remarkable lesson in geological change-this valley was carved in part by a massive lahar, or volcano-induced mudflow of massive proportions.

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