Vacations To Go


Mt. St. Helens


Day 1 Thursday October 7th  
4:30 p.m. Depart: Spokane  
    (Go west on I-90. Take exit 116 left on Nisqually Rd/Old Pacific Hwy. At Hwy 510 turn left/south. At the roundable take the 1st right on Meridian Rd. It will go left. Turn right on Yelm Hwy.  
9:25 p.m. Arrive: Lacey/Olympia Amtrak station 323
7:48 p.m. Depart: Vancouver Train $20  
9:21 p.m. Arrive: Lacey/Olympia Amtrak station  
9:30 p.m. Do: Pick-up Ginny  
    (Turn right on Yelm Hwy. It will go right and become Rudell Rd. Turn left/west on Pacific. In 2 blocks go right on College St. Cross the freeway and turn right on Park Center.)  

La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Olympia-Lacey
4704 Park Center Avenue NE
Lacey, WA 98516
(360) 412-1200
(1 Queens, free breakfast, fridge, microwave, CM,)



Day 2 Friday October 8th  
10:00 a.m. Depart: Lacey  
    (Go left on College and turn left again on Martin Way. Enter I-5 going right/west. Take exit 63. Turn left on Hwy 505. Go left on Hwy 504/Spirit Lake Hwy.)  
  See: Mt Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument (Senior Pass)  
11:20 a.m.   Bridge View Point 77
9 min   Elk Rock Viewpoint 7.4
6 min   Castle Lake Viewpoint- right side 3.5
9 min   Coldwater Lake Picnic 4.9
11 min  
Loowit Viewpoint
1 min  
Johnston Ridge Observatory
Gift shop
1 hr
15 min
Arrive: Kelso 61.7
  Lodge: Americas Best Value $98.99
505 N Pacific
(2 Queens, continental breakfast)
Option 2:      
9:00 a.m. Depart: Lacey  
    (Go left on College and turn left again on Martin Way. Enter I-5 going right/west. Take exit 82. Go left on Harrison. The road will go left on Main St. Park at Hwy 507/Tower.)  
9:30 a.m. Arrive: Centralia 28
  See: Painted Lady Vintage (11-5)
108 N Tower
    McMenamins Olympic Club Pub (8-mid)
112 N Tower

Dawn's Delectables Dessert & Sandwich (8am-3pm)
204 N Tower

    Robertson's Relics
208 N Tower
    Timeless Treasures (10-5)
314 N Tower
    (Cross the street and go left.)  
    Landlord's Daughter Antiques
325 N Tower
    Great Cuisine of India (11-9)
315 N Tower
    Attic Door (1-5)
307 N Tower
    Simply Collectibles (11-5)
207 N Tower
    Prim Rose Primitives (11-4)
109 S Tower
    (Continue on Tower. Turn right on Locust and left on Pearl.)  
    Star Center Antique Mall (10-5)
201 S Pearl
    Centralia Square Antiques (10-5)
201 S Pearl St
    Visiting Nurses Thrift Store (9-6)
222 S Pearl St
  Depart: Centralia  
    (Go left on Pearl and right on Cherry. Jog left on Alder St. Go right on Ellsbury. Turn left across Hwy 12 and left again on Airport Rd. Enter I-5 south. Take exit 40. Turn right on Kelso. On the right past Columbia.)  
42 min Arrive: Kelso, WA 43
  Lodge: Americas Best Value $98.99
505 N Pacific
(2 Queens, continental breakfast)


Day 3 Saturday October 9th  
10:00 a.m. Depart: Kelso  
    (Go south on I-5. Take exit 22 east and right on Old Pacific Hwy. At the roundabout take the 2nd right on Hwy 503/Lewis River Rd. It will become Rd 90.)  
10:35 a.m. See: Lower Marble Waterfall (.88 miles RT)
This out and back trail takes visitors to 33-foot tall Marble Creek Falls. It's a short hike, but a good one for kids, or families recreating at Merwin Park. 70 ft elevation

From the parking lot at Merwin Park, follow the lakeshore back towards the base of the hillside below Highway 503. Look for th interpretive signs, provided by PacifiCorp. It's a short, wide, and flat trail, so it's perfect for family members of all ages, and is ADA-compliant. It's open to bicycles, so be prepared to share! Along the way, you can also learn a little about the dam managed by PacifiCorp. 

In addition to a diverting waterfall, you may spy a variety of wildlife on this trail, including birds and even newts! A fun game is to see how many you can spot -- their brownish-orange skin blends in perfectly with fallen leaves, particularly in fall. Tempting as it may be to pick them up, it's best to leave them be.

    (Continue on Rd No 90. Turn left on NF-83. Turn left again on NF-8303.)  
34 min  
Trail of Two Forests Interpretive Site
(.25 miles)
This ¼ mile long boardwalk trail leads you over a 2,000 year-old lava flow from Mount St. Helens. Lava ran through the forest and around trees, which burst into flames. The lava solidified around the trunks and trunks rotted away, leaving tree wells, voids in which the impressions of the bark remain. Interpretive signs along the route tell the story of this ancient event. Climb down a ladder and through a dark, tree well. Enjoy today’s forest of fir, hemlock, and brilliant, green moss growing on the old lava. The boardwalk is accessible and kid friendly. Picnic tables and a pit toilet are available.
    (Continue on NF-8303. Turn right on FS-8303060)  
3 min
1:00 p.m.-
3:00 p.m.
Ape Cave Interpretive Site
(9-4:45) $2 admin fee
(360) 449-7800

Explore a chilly, pitch-black lava tube over two miles long. A short, paved, accessible trail beneath towering trees leads to a stairwell into the cave. The ¾ mile, one-way lower cave route is relatively easy and family friendly. For the more adventurous, the 1.5 mile upper cave route leads to a climb up an eight foot rock wall and scramble over rock piles, then an exit and a 1.5 mile above ground hike back to the parking lot. 

Ape Cave is the third longest lava tube (2.5 miles long) in North America and cave temperature is 42 degrees F/5.6 degrees C year-round. Make sure to bring two sources of light per person (a cell phone light is not bright enough), sturdy shoes, warm clothing, even in warm weather. In summer, Ape Headquarters, a small information station, offers lantern rentals, information and sales items to ticket holders.

1 hr
30 min
Arrive: Portland 68.6
    Pro Photo (9-6)
1112 NW 19th
    Goodwill (10-8)
1943 SE 6th
    Guardian Games (10-10)
345 SE Taylor
    Voodoo Donuts (6am-mid)
1501 NE Davis St
  Lodge: SpringHill Suites Portland Airport $155.60
11922 NE Airport Way
(503) 253-4095
(2 Queens, sofa, breakfast)


Day 4 Sunday October 10th  
10:00 a.m. Depart: Portland  
2:00 p.m. Arrive: Kennewick 207
  Do: Lunch  
2:30 p.m. Depart: Kennewick  
4:45 p.m. Arrive: Spokane 142