The Lava Canyon Bridge is one of the most terrifying bridges you can cross in all of Washington. This cable suspension bridge can be reached by taking the Lava Canyon Trail in the Mount St. Helens area, and it bounces with almost every step the entire way.
It's an easy, 1.5-mile hike out to this swinging bridge. If you're up for more of a challenge, you can continue after the overpass onto a longer, more difficult trail into the lower level of the canyon. Since the bridge doesn't have any solid material underneath, the boards sink down a few inches with every step, making it feel like you're walking across a trampoline.
Built in 1993, this link over Lava Canyon was constructed by a firm that specializes in trail bridges. It's one of the largest hiking bridges in the Pacific Northwest, with cables strung on two 17-feet towers made of Douglas fir, and high sides to help keep you safely enclosed.
Here's the stunning view looking down. Just below, you can see the rushing waters of the Muddy River. The entire way across, the bridge provides spectacular views of the mud-scoured canyon.
Lava Canyon Falls can also be seen from this bridge. When Mount St. Helens erupted back in 1980, the mud-flow that scoured this canyon had re-directed the course of the Muddy River, and resulted in this enchanting cascade.
This narrow bridge may seem daunting, but it offers a memorable experience with every bouncy step. You'll definitely want to wear good hiking shoes and bring your camera. For more information on the trails, read
This bouncy bridge over Lava Canyon is one of many places to explore near Mount St. Helens. You can also take the Harry Ridge Trail for stunning views of the volcano, or you can explore the well-known Ape Caves nearby as well.