Independence Loop

Randle, Washington

5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars5 out of 5 stars
1 Review
5 out of 5
As it leaves the trailhead the route climbs 30 steps, then makes a couple of switchbacks as it heads west to the ridgeline. Once you reach the ridge, Spirit Lake comes into view. From the ridge you can see Mount Hood far to the south and to the left of the blasted-out remains of Mount St. Helens. The ridge is covered with blown-down timber; scattered small firs and huckleberry bushes growing between the logs. The berries are ripe in late August. The path turns right along the ridge and heads north through stands of fireweed and other flowers. Past the saddle the path traverses the west-facing slope, and Mount Rainier comes into view. In the shaded, damper spots along this slope a few avalanche lilies manage to survive, and bloom in early July. There is a viewpoint a few yards to the right of the trail 3.4 miles from the trailhead where you can view Mount Adams to the east.
Best Easy Day Hikes: Mount St. Helens

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Easy Day Hikes: Mount St. Helens

by Fred Barstad (Falcon Guides)

As it leaves the trailhead the route climbs 30 steps, then makes a couple of switchbacks as it heads west to the ridgeline. Once you reach the ridge, Spirit Lake comes into view. From the ridge you can see Mount Hood far to the south and to the left of the blasted-out remains of Mount St. Helens. The ridge is covered with blown-down timber; scattered small firs and huckleberry bushes growing between the logs. The berries are ripe in late August.

The path turns right along the ridge and heads north through stands of fireweed and other flowers. Past the saddle the path traverses the west-facing slope, and Mount Rainier comes into view. In the shaded, damper spots along this slope a few avalanche lilies manage to survive, and bloom in early July. There is a viewpoint a few yards to the right of the trail 3.4 miles from the trailhead where you can view Mount Adams to the east.

©  Fred Barstad/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Randle
Distance: 6.7
Elevation Gain: 860 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: Day hike
Season: Best spring thru fall
Local Contacts: Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Local Maps: USGS Spirit Lake E
Driving Directions: Directions to Independence Loop

Recent Trail Reviews

7/7/2005
0

disagree with 'easy' rating for this hike. started from the independence pass trailhead (TH), not the norway pass TH. 1 mile gentle uphill (150 feet gain) on independence trail (#227) to junction, go left (clockwise) here on #227. great views of mt. adams, mt. hood, and mt. st helens, spirit lake. trail becomes more exposed and quite narrow at times, for this reason i rate this hike as moderate and not recommended it for people who have trouble with exposed trails nor for children(at times only about a foot wide with 300+ foot dropoffs). at norway pass take trail #227a to the right, views of mt. rainier, mt. adams, and meta lake, return to loop start junction and go left and return to TH.



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