Loowit Trail

Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington

Distance26.6mi
Elevation Gain16,257ft
Trailhead Elevation4,680ft
Top4,917ft
Elevation Min/Max3162/4917ft
Elevation Start/End4680/4679ft

Loowit Trail

Loowit Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Skamania County and Cowlitz County, Washington. It is within Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument. It is 26.6 miles long and begins at 4,680 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 53.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 16,257 feet. The Windy Pass saddle can be seen along the trail. There are also lavas and cliffs along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Worm Flows Climbing Route, Ape Canyon Trail, Ptarmigan Trail #216A, June Lake Trail #216B, Sheep Canyon Trail, Swift Creek Ski Trail #244, Loowit Falls Trail, Abraham Trail, Windy Ridge Trail, Toutle Trail, Castle Ridge Trail, Monitor Ridge Climbing Route, Butte Camp Trail and Willow Springs Trail.

Loowit Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

A FalconGuide to Mount St. Helens (Falcon Guides)
Fred Barstad
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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." Read more
Day Hiking Mount St. Helens (The Mountaineers Books)
Craig Romano and Aaron Theisen
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"Although a Northwest classic, the hike around Mount St. Helens is one of the more challenging backpacking trips for its length. Difficult river, creek, gully, and lava bed crossings, as well as water and campsite scarcity, and long stretches exposed to the elements, make it a tough journey." Read more
100 Classic Hikes Washington (The Mountaineers Books)
Craig Romano
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"Hike around America’s most famous volcano and experience its many facets. Taking the Klickitat people’s name for Mount St. Helens, the Loowit Trail circumnavigates Washington’s most recently active volcano. Traverse primeval forest, old lava flows, new mud flows, pumice plains, and flowered meadows. Difficult river, creek, gully, and lava bed crossings, as well as water and campsite scarcity—and long stretches exposed to the elements—make it a tough and challenging backpacking trip." Read more

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Trail Information

Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument
Nearby City
Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Difficult
Skill Level
Camping
Additional Use
Views, Wildflowers
Features
Mount St. Helens NVM
Local Contacts
Green Trails, Mount St. Helens No. 332S
Local Maps