Harrys Ridge Trail is a 8.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Toutle, WA that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from June until November.
Get a panoramic view of the devastation from the Mt. St. Helen's Crater, to Spirit lake and beyond. Not to be missed! This is an incredible route for getting a sense of the total devastation from the 1980 eruption. You'll hike with the crater in front of you or on your right most the way, then turn towards the east mountains as you make your way to Harry's Ridge. From Harry's Ridge you'll view the crater, Spirit Lake with logs from the eruption still sliding across the lake back and forth with the wind, and on up towards the furthest parts of the damage. Along the way, in the right season, you'll find berries and wildlife. If you're lucky, you'll return as the Elk head off the mountain into the valley to feed and rest for the night - they'll be on your right most the way back.
Fabulous day hike with some exciting trails with views along the entire hike. Devils Elbow was narrowed trail along high steep cliff edges. I would recommend taking the 10 essentials. Binoculars would have been a must bring along this hike. No wonder Harry didn't want to leave. The area is grandiose and carpeted in mountain range as far as the eyes could see. History is alive on Harry's Ridge.
35 yrs after the mountain blew it's still otherworldly. Morning clouds gave way to a mostly sunny sky. Jackets required around 11:00 am at the outset, but not needed for long. Wild flowers in bloom all along the the trail. Our lifetime offers an opportunity to see for miles in this landscape. Harry's Ridge is one of my all time favorites. I listened to different languages being spoken and appreciated all the more that people travel from around the globe to see what we have accessible as a day hike. Listened in to a ranger talk along the trail on way back. They are passionate about & respect Mt St Helens & surrounding mountains, valleys, ridges. But they're every bit as passionate & respectful of the brilliant scientists, Johnston in particular, who lost their lives, as well as the scientists who monitor this young volcano and advance our knowledge of the 1980 event & the rebirth of this magnificent area.
Today it was completely fogged in on our way out from the observatory. It also rained most the time. It opened up enough for a few pics but quickly turned crummy again. This was probably the only time I've ever been to the Mountain and not seen a deer or Elk. But, it was nice to get out.
Great views of the inside of the Crater. Will overlook Spirit Lake and will be able to see the Mount Margaret back county. Always Elk to be seen on this trail. Route will be in the open sun, being protection.
Great hike! The views are absolutely amazing. The narrow pathway along the cliff wasn't a problem however meeting someone coming the opposite direction could have been very challenging at a few spots. The reported elevation gain of 200' is misleading as others have stated. With a 20-min lunch break plus multiple photo stops, hubby and I completed the hike in just over 4 hours.
The hike to Harrys Ridge is a fun 8 mile hike. The cliff section looks frightening at first, but not so much on the way back. The views from Harrys Ridge are amazing. Nature at its finest. Don't miss this hike.
GORGEOUS. Can't be beat. Narrow path winding around edge of cliff at times so not for all. But breathtaking views if you keep going!
From the observatory, Harry's Ridge is a seemingly unassuming ridge. It’s more casually rounded than the jagged features of Mount St. Helens and surrounding peaks and can almost be missed if you’re not looking for it. But once you crest the saddle of the ridge and head to the top, you find out it gives way to something well worth the trip!
Start from Johnston Ridge Observatory either from the end of the parking lot or from the observatory. Travel on a paved path for a bit then onto Boundary Trail #1 following that for just over 2 miles where you meet up with Truman Trail #207. Follow the sign going left for Harrys Ridge or right for Loowit Falls. Heading left, go approximately 1 mile to a saddle. From there the trail continues left. Head right for about .6 miles to the summit of Harrys Ridge.
The Indian Paintbrush and Lupine (I believe) are out everywhere this time of year! Beautiful reds and blues. In some cases large patches them. As we went closer to the ridge, Indian Paintbrush gave way to yellow daisies.
Along the ridge we could see Spirit Lake, Mt. Adams and off in the distance Mt. Hood. The views are outstanding. It will be windy and cooler. Be sure to bring something for that especially if you spend any time at there. We had a partly cloudy day and managed to get a bit red. Bring some sunscreen. It’ll be needed.
A long and winding trail through the blast zone. Wildflowers abound this time of year. We saw many ground squirrels and happy birds. Clear view of Mount St. Helens during the entire hike. The view from atop Harry's Ridge, staring into the mouth of the crater to the south, over Spirit Lake and to Mt. Adams beyond in the east, and over the majority of the blast zone to the north and west, is unbeatable. No shade though so bring a hat, sunscreen, and a rain jacket in case of showers.
Started at Johnston Ridge Observatory. The hike starts on the boundary trail and takes you through a landscape that seems like the moon instead of what we usually hike here in the pacific northwest. At the end of Harry's Ridge you are looking into the mouth of Mt. St. Helens. From that same location you can see Mt. Hood in Oregon, to the east Mt Adams and right below you is Spirit Lake. After 32 years Spirit Lake still has thousands of trees floating on the surface and who knows how many has sunk to the botom. Enjoy your day and take a good look at the power of mother nature.
Miss Hiker P.
This is best to do on a clear day. My GPS said this was closer to 950ft Elevation gain. Very dry trail, so take plenty of water.
You can see Mount St. Helens through almost the entire trip. Wild flowers are blooming, and the devastation left behind was just amazing after 30 years.Spirit Lake was the deepest blue I have ever seen.
The trails are very clearly marked. We started at Johnston Observatory, which does not open until 10 a.m.
you need to have an Integrancy pass or other annual pass & it will let you bring 3 other people in on that pass. Other wise it will be like $8.50 per person. They give everyone a bracelet to wear. You can also get a free map inside the observatory, which was very helpful.
It should only take about 5 hours to do the trip, but we spent a lot of time taking pictures & videos.
P.S. There is a section of the trail that is a bit narrow and runs on the side of a hill. There is a warning about fear of heights might make it a difficult journey. It really isn't as bad as it looks