Lava Canyon Interpretive Site

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Picture of Lava Canyon Falls

Discover more about Mount St. Helens eruptive past in this much more stark, higher-elevation setting. Access Lava Canyon Trail #184 at this site. Travel along the trail and explore a mudflow-scoured canyon with views of a waterfall plunging over an ancient lava flow. Continue on the Lava Canyon Trail for more challenging hiking experiences with rewarding views.

Accessible Adventures Video

At a Glance

Current Conditions:
  • Expect construction equipment and workers at the parking lot, beginning 10/05/2020 due to new toilet construction.
  • Due to closure of the Lava Canyon Suspension Bridge, the 1.4 mile upper loop is not possible. The first small bridge remains open for crossing the river. You may still walk down both sides of the river to the suspension bridge, you just can't cross it. The suspension bridge is closed for the foreseeable future.
Fees $5/vehicle/day or valid Recreation Pass. See Mount St. Helens Map for fee and payment sites. Fee tube available at the site for cash or check payments.
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: Summer
Busiest Season: Summer
Restrictions: Please stay on the trail at all times. Fatalities have occurred when visitors wander off-trail.
Closest Towns: Cougar, WA
Water: No
Restroom: Compost Toilet (1)
Passes: America the Beautiful or Northwest Forest Pass accepted.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center:

General Information


From Woodland, WA take State Route 503/Forest Road 90 east to the well-signed Forest Road 83 junction. Turn left on Forest Road 83 for 11 miles and follow to the end of Forest Road 83 at Lava Canyon Trailhead and Intepretive Site.


This site and trail are accessible and offer outstanding views.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
2800' - 3000'