What Does Lava Smell Like?

Lava burning plants

In May 2017, we hiked over Kilauea’s eastern slopes to intercept the 61G lava flow. The flow, which issued from the Pu’u O’o vent, had been showing stunning displays of activity for several months. Out of my many visits to Kilauea, this would be…

Haleakala On Horseback

On horses at the bottom of Haleakala's crater.

There is something inspiring about a sunrise. The golden rays herald in a new day full of hopes and adventures. No two sunrises are ever the same. Watching the golden sunrise over Haleakala’s expansive crater was a sight unlike any other. As the sun…

The View From Mount St. Helens’ Summit

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the May 18, 1980 eruption at Mount St. Helens. Just a few months shy of the anniversary, we climbed the volcano to check out the views from Mount St. Helens’ summit. We could clearly see and smell…

One “Tuff” Hike – The Trail to Wheeler Geologic Area

Volcano Hopper Team by a river

It was mind-blowing to know that this whole area had once exploded with a force never before seen by mankind. This whole wilderness – with all its trees and wildlife – masks an enormously powerful volcano. Though La Garita is considered extinct today, the ripples of what happened here can still be felt if you’re paying attention.

Fearless Footsteps

I am super excited to announce that Intrepid Times and Exisle Publishing are releasing an amazing anthology called “Fearless Footsteps” next year – and that our story about climbing Mount St. Helens will be featured in it! Copyright © 2019 Volcano Hopper. All rights reserved. Loved…

Mount Hood

Wy’east has a secret. He loves the sunrise. Before the sun even rose, I felt the stirring.  I lifted my head from the soft pillow and looked out the window.  Outside of our log cabin at the base of Mount Hood, the sky was turning purple behind…

Mount St. Helens: Sweet Summit Success!

Monitor Ridge – Part 2 Three steps. Two.  One.  Suddenly, Mount St. Helens’ summit crater stretched wide open in front of me.  The rim of the crater curved around to the north like eagles’ wings.  An enormous lava dome that dwarfed everything around it sat perched in the heart…

Mount St. Helens: Scaling the Volcano

Monitor Ridge – Part 1 Mount St. Helens is 8,366’ of badass stratovolcano.  She may not be the tallest volcano out there, but her slopes are steep and slippery.  And did I mention that she’s active?  At any moment, the volcano could hiccup and cause an ash explosion,…

Mount St. Helens: The Boundary Trail

The landscape around Mount St. Helens is just packed with trails waiting to be explored.  I’m certain I just need to move up to Washington for six months so that I can get my boots on every single one!  My partners in crime and I had…

Mount St. Helens: Loowit Viewpoint and Johnston Ridge Observatory

After years of hoping, dreaming, and planning, the morning of August 4 found the four of us driving down the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway in search of mighty Mount St. Helens.  My three partners in crime and I had explored the river valleys and Forest…