Smith Creek exit now signed!
The lower point of the Road 83 extension at it's junction with the Smith Creek trail is now signed by the Forest Service. The sign was placed August 10th and points out to mountain bikers where to turn off the Smith Creek trail to return back to the parking lot at the Ape Canyon trailhead. This announcement was made by Sharon Steriti, Trails/Climbing Specialist with the Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument.
This is a welcome addition. Officially the Road 83 extension between the Smith Creek trail and the Ape Canyon parking lot is closed. Unofficially mountain bikers have been allowed to keep the former road cleared of obstructions to allow our use as an exit point from Smith Creek since the Lava Canyon trail is, and has been for some time, officially closed to mtb use from the bridge crossing the Muddy River and the Lava Canyon parking lot. Mountain bikers can still ride to the lower end of Road 8322 on the Smith Creek trail and can still use Road 8322 as an exit way, but that will add quite a few miles to the ride. Prior to the new sign's placement mtb'ers have had to rely on cairns and other temporary means of marking to indicate the turn on the Road 83 extension.
I'm excited about the signage that has been placed and thank the Forest Service staff for having done this.