Trail of Two Forests Interpretive Site

Area Status: Open
Boardwalk with Interpretive Sign

This ¼ mile long boardwalk trail leads you over a 2,000 year-old lava flow from Mount St. Helens. Lava ran through the forest and around trees, which burst into flames. The lava solidified around the trunks and trunks rotted away, leaving tree wells, voids in which the impressions of the bark remain. Interpretive signs along the route tell the story of this ancient event. Climb down a ladder and through a dark, tree well. Enjoy today’s forest of fir, hemlock, and brilliant, green moss growing on the old lava. The boardwalk is accessible and kid friendly. Picnic tables and a pit toilet are available.

To protect fragile geologic features and plant life, please stay on the boardwalk.

Accessible Adventures Video

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 11/21/2023: Trail of Two Forests is open.
Fees: Recreation pass or $5 day use fee required. 
Permit Info: Dec 1 to March 31:  Washington State Sno-Park Permit required and not available on-site. Purchase online or from a vendor. No other pass required during Sno-Park season.
Usage: Medium
  • Pets must be on leash at all times.
Closest Towns: Cougar, WA
Water: No
Restroom: Vault Toilet (1)
Passes: April 1 to Nov. 30: America the Beautiful or Northwest Forest Passes accepted. A day pass can be purchased at the fee tube on-site for $5, cash or check.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center:

General Information


From Cougar, drive east on Forest Road 90 and turn left (north) onto Forest Road 83. Drive 2 miles and turn left onto Forest Road 8303. Continue for 0.5 mile to the trailhead on the left.


This site has a flat parking area, but the trail may be a little challenging. The trail is a boardwalk in some sections to get viewers up and over the rough and crumbling volcanic terrain.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Interpretive Areas


Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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  Elevation : 
1800 - 1900