We had planned to return to Lewis Falls for some camping this summer, but were worried the remote campground near Mount Saint Helens would be full even though we were arriving on Thursday. We changed plans and went to the larger and closer Iron Creek Campground which was also near Mount Saint Helens. We found a camp site though the campground did get fully booked the next day.
We got a very nice private site with lots of room and a short trail to the nearby Cispus river which the girls (and dad) threw into endless rocks. There was also a short loop trail around the campground which was easy for everyone and had an added bonus of hidden gnomes and fairies with attached notes encouraging us to hide them elsewhere.
As with our previous trips to the area we spent the day exploring around Mount Saint Helens. Windy Ridge was unfortunately closed due to winter road damage so we couldn't check out the blast area from the 1980 eruption. We were still able to go to the Trail of Two Forests and Ape Cave which were formed during an eruption 2000 years ago.
The Trail of Two Forests had small tunnel made by tree that had been covered and burned up from an ancient lava flow. Vivian and Rachel crawled through it multiple times, but Lily only need to go once.
Ape Cave was a large lava tube where we could do a 1.5 mile hike though one section. Vivian and Rachel made it to the very end which could only be reached via a belly crawl.
On our last day we went to the nearby Iron Creek Falls. It was a nice little waterfall which Jamie and I had visited way back in 2000.
Overall we were very happy with the trip, especially Iron Creek Campground. We will most likely return.
Trail of Two Forests
Trail of Two Forests Tunnel
Ape Cave End
South Side of Mount Saint Helens
Iron Creek Campground Trail
Iron Creek Falls
July 20-22, 2017