Hike Distance: 8.1 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 247.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 1515 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 32105 feet
I got out very late but was still able to haul butt and complete this loop. The Washington DNR has been planning to log part of this area, and I wanted one last look before it was destroyed, at least for the remainder of my life. 😦 So, I parked at the Hantwick TH of the Moulton Trail, and started up the road. My goal for the day was to enjoy this area before it’s logged, and also to try taking some time exposures of water with my new Olympus camera. This camera has 5.5 stops of image stabilization, and I found that I could take a 2 second exposure and have no blur in the picture!!! I was amazed at how well this camera keeps the image still while holding it for long exposures, and without a tripod. 🙂
I love this area because it’s rare to see anyone, and today was no exception. There were no people, but I also didn’t see any animals. The forest area designated for a clear cut was still intact, and I loved going under the canopy in this area! I took this road for almost two miles before a small trail connects up to the Bells Mt. Trail. Just before intersecting this short-cut trail there is a phenomenal view of Mt. St. Helens! It’s always a treasure to get a close-up view of any snow capped volcano. 🙂
Once on the Bells Mt. Trail, I headed north (took a left after crossing two small streams) back to the Moulton Trail. Next, I reached the Moulton Trail and turned right to get a view of Moulton Falls. You can’t see the entire falls from my vantage point, but it’s still very impressive. I got some great long exposure photos of the falls, without a tripod, and this is a first for me.
It was getting late, so I tagged the high bridge, above the Lewis River, and then headed back west toward my car. There were many people walking on the trail, and they were all very nice. Along the walk back to my car there were at least three small streams that I photographed, with long exposures. I included them in the photos below. This was a much better hike than I expected, and I was grateful to have made the time to go there.