Sheep Canyon Trail is a hiking trail in Cowlitz County and Skamania County, Washington. It is within Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument. It is 1.9 miles long and begins at 3,600 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is a mile with a total elevation gain of 300 feet. Along the trail there is a viewpoint.
Sheep Canyon Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"As you leave the trailhead the route climbs gently through a brushy area. Beside the path lupine and other flowers add color. Soon the tread enters old-growth forest. Here a side path goes to the left a short distance to a viewpoint of a waterfall in Sheep Canyon Creek. When you are away from the edge of the canyon you climb through old growth forest, but close to the rim the forest was stripped away by the mudflow from the 1980 eruption. Now, at about 4,200 feet elevation, the composition of the forest begins to change. The trees are smaller and spaced farther apart. Huckleberries grow thickly between the trees. If you are here in late August you may want to take the time to enjoy their fruit. Shortly after leaving the canyon the trail enters The Blast Zone. One mile from the junction with the Sheep Canyon Trail a great viewpoint on the right side of the trail overlooks the South Fork Toutle River Canyon."
--Fred Barstad, Best Easy Day Hikes: Mount St. Helens (Falcon Guides).
"Offering great views down the mud-filled Toutle River Valley, this trail explores areas of destruction as well as healthy old forests that miraculously escaped the ravages of the 1980 eruption. The route also offers a much shorter option for those who want to enjoy the very best views but don’t have the time and/or energy to do the full outandback route. The best views of the entire route—and arguably the best views found on the western side of the monument—are found just a quarter mile into the walk. This makes a great half-mile hike if you want to cut short your walking adventure and just focus on the views."
--Dan A. Nelson , Day Hiking: South Cascades (The Mountaineers Books).
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