Loowit Trail

Randle, Washington

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A 34-mile round-the-mountain trek that offers spectacular views of a landscape often devastated, but sometimes almost untouched, by the 1980 eruption. The Truman and Windy Trails offer one of the easier access routes to the Loowit Trail. On the northern side of the mountain, where this hike starts and ends, there is little vegetation along the Loowit Trail, but the view is breathtaking. Around the northern side of the mountain between the South Fork Toutle River and Windy Ridge Trailhead, the trail crosses terrain where the vegetation was nearly completely obliterated by the 1980 eruption. Plants are slowly reclaiming this area, but at times you may think you are hiking in a barren desert. This part of the hike is the best for seeing herds of Roosevelt elk (Cervus elaphus roosevelti), with the lack of trees and brush making the viewing easy. Remember that nearly this entire section of the route is within the Restricted Zone, so it must be crossed in one day.
A FalconGuide to Mount St. Helens

DESCRIPTION FROM:

A FalconGuide to Mount St. Helens

by Fred Barstad (Falcon Guides)

A 34-mile round-the-mountain trek that offers spectacular views of a landscape often devastated, but sometimes almost untouched, by the 1980 eruption. The Truman and Windy Trails offer one of the easier access routes to the Loowit Trail. On the northern side of the mountain, where this hike starts and ends, there is little vegetation along the Loowit Trail, but the view is breathtaking.

Around the northern side of the mountain between the South Fork Toutle River and Windy Ridge Trailhead, the trail crosses terrain where the vegetation was nearly completely obliterated by the 1980 eruption. Plants are slowly reclaiming this area, but at times you may think you are hiking in a barren desert. This part of the hike is the best for seeing herds of Roosevelt elk (Cervus elaphus roosevelti), with the lack of trees and brush making the viewing easy. Remember that nearly this entire section of the route is within the Restricted Zone, so it must be crossed in one day.

©  Fred Barstad/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Randle
Distance: 34
Elevation Gain: 6,000 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: Backpack
Season: July through September
Trailhead Elevation: 4,110 feet
Top Elevation: 4,800 feet
Local Contacts: Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Local Maps: USGS Mount St. Helens, Goat Mountain
Driving Directions: Directions to Loowit Trail

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Apr 2018