Ape Canyon Trail

HARD 7 reviews

Ape Canyon Trail is a 9.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Stevenson, WA that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, birding, and mountain biking and is accessible from May until November.

9.7 miles 2050 feet Out & Back




mountain biking



wild flowers


This is an incredible trail. Safe to say there is nothing quite like this anywhere in the states. You climb through a forest that somehow survived the blast of St. Helens with views getting better and better the farther you climb. Then, you pop out of the woods and begin traversing the Plains of Abr.

3 months ago

yep bad ass hike you can go all day hiking around on St. Helens you get to see the Old Mud Flows and how much that explosion scarred the land and you get to see the start of the Plains of Abraham so much to do on this hike it's what you make out of it

4 months ago

By far one of the best hikes I've done. We didn't know what to expect, as our original hike through Lava Canyon was closed off. We had perfect weather for the day. Clear skies. Quite a few fallen trees, but that's part of the fun of hiking. Hit a little snow at the viewpoint, but easily crossed. Can't wait to do this hike again.

10 months ago

1 year ago

1 year ago

This is a nice trail with really easy (paved) road access which makes this a somewhat popular trail, but nothing like Ape Caves which is passed on the way in. There are a few dispersed camping sites right by the parking lot which is really small, but there may be parking down the road a bit. Lots of bikers on the trail, but they were all really friendly and we typically yielded to them since it is just easier for everyone and the breaks on the almost continuous uphill were welcome. The trail is well graded with few obstacles and the cleanest trail that I have ever been on - not a hint of litter anywhere! We camped in the meadow/trees on a hill above the trail before the final uphill to the Plains of Abraham. We had perfect weather, complete solitude, and enormous views of Helens, Adams, and Hood. There are a few decent sites up on the hill towards the south side that have been cleared of pumice making them really nice. The only negatives were having to pack in all of our water (dry even this early in the season) and no place to hang food (to be expected), we buried it and had no problems with critters. Otherwise, a great area for a one night backpack close to the city.

4 years ago

Wonderful trail for hiking, walking.. probably for bikes too, but since I'm not a rider - I can't really comment. It is shaded most of the way up to the top and the trail is wide and soft. Steep but not technical. Excellent starting spot for doing the Loowit or just getting up to the Plains of Abraham. Great day hike and good conditioning as it is constantly going up but not too strenuous that it isn't enjoyable. No pain - no gain, huh?

There is NO water on this trail. You might be able to access glacier streams, if they are running, if you continue on the Loowit Trail (east towards Plains of Abraham) about a half mile or so. Lots of bugs - biting flies. They hurt and they leave ugly, itchy welts too!

Bikers were friendly when we passed them. My husband and I were backpacking with our dog and it seemed that sharing the trail was never an issue. We hiked up around 5pm, camped and came back down at 9am the next morning. It took us a little over 2.5 hours to get up and about 2 to get down. Great workout!

6 years ago

Wow! Couldn't be better. A little bit of everything. Deep forest path up through the canyon punctuated by alternating views of mud flow river bed off St Helens and gorgious Mt Adams. At the top look down over rock left bare by the blast. Cross over to the Plains of Abraham for a view of St Helens you can almost touch. Turn around and there's Adams, Rainier, and off to the south, Hood. In early July we had snow patches side by side with blooming lupine. This is my favorite hike in the area.