It has been over 30 years since Mount St. Helens blew its top: Thirteen hundred feet of the mountaintop collapsed into the Toutle River Valley. The explosion claimed 57 lives and devastated almost 150,000 acres of forests. I’ve wanted to visit Mount St. Helens for many years. Finally on Saturday, we took a road trip to see it. While it was a beautiful drive… I was surprised by the lack of trees and vegetation in areas closer to the volcano. Most of the new forests were planted — more than 18 million seedlings were planted by hand. And in some areas of the blast zone, you can still see a lot of trees lay where it fell from the blast.
The area was a photographer’s paradise. However, it was a challenge for me to get good shots. I wanted to capture the vastness of the devastated areas but since my widest angle lens is 18mm, it was difficult to get the feel. I decided to shoot panoramic so that you can get a better sense of the area. The panoramic image below was created using three images. Click on it to see a larger size with better details of the volcano.
For those who enjoys hiking, you can hike up to the top of the volcano. It’s about 18 miles round trip. I thought it would be awesome to get images of the inside of the volcano, but I probably need to get in better shape before I attempt the climb.