state of Washington, Mt. St. Helens is generally known for its
smoldering crater, the place where on May 18, 1980, a mountain blew its top, sending millions of tons of earth and ash
into the sky and nearly halving the size of the mountain. The volcano there remains active, and draws both scientists
and gawkers to the rim, where you can gaze down on the growing dome that may some day (perhaps soon!) explode again.
But for those in the know (and some of them are my friends) St. Helens is also a mountain biking Mecca, a
place to ride epic single track for hours without encountering another soul, and where you can set up camp in the
shadow of a volcano. Mountain Biking Magazine has a piece on the trails and sites
around St. Helens that’s worth a look by fat-tire fanatics in search of killer rides not far from a metropolitan area.
Seattle is a mere three hours away and Tacoma is almost within riding distance. Several of the old trails remain
closed to bikers because of eruption concerns, but others like the Lewis River Trail are open and inviting. Interested
in learning more? Then check out the site put together by the Forest Service, which owns much of the
land around the mountain and has updates on where you can ride, hike and camp.