Hi, All, I just did my first overnight backpack trip at the age of 62. I loved it! The person I went with was a veteran backpacker, so I felt confident that we would have a successful experience. It was quite an adventure! We ended up camping on the east side of Mt St Helens below the crater in the blast zone. I found out after we got home that there is no camping in the blast zone. We did not seeing a ban on camping overnight posted on the information board near the trailhead. The view from our campsite was magnificent! Spirit Lake at our feet and billions of stars overhead. The wind came up in the night and we had to re-stake the rain fly and anchor it with large rocks to keep it from blowing off. I know why its named Windy Ridge.
5 miles in and back. I loved it. Gladys