Loowit Loop Trail is a 32.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Stevenson, Washington that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until September.
From Vancouver, drive north on 1-5 to Highway 503 (Woodland, exit 21). Drive east 35 miles to Forest Service Road 83. Turn left and drive 6 miles to the signed trailhead on the left for June Lake (the shortest access on the south side).
it's a really cool experience and the land scape is like no other I would recommend going on days that are gonna be in the 70s it's really barren but worth the hike Mt. St. Helens is Beautiful to look at its crazy to see the different land scape
Various landscapes make this 3 day hike exciting and suspenseful.
Loves this hike yesterday July 2, 2014 just past the twin lakes near the old seizment antennas I heard a black bear growl at me three times. What a way to add excitement to a long days hiking. Bear spray and hiding in the wild flowers helped me hide from him but not his stinky smell. Pee uuuuu.
I did this trail 6/14/14 with a group of 4 others as a day hike. The trail is extremely rough this time of year with snow remaining in most of the ravines and some of the tree covered areas and the trail washed out in dozens of locations in and out of the ravines. Even when the trail is in good shape it is a challenge with long sections of rock-hoping and tough ascents/descents into and out of the various ravines and canyons. You are constantly giving back all of the elevation gains over and over, which is tough to stomach after 15 or 20 miles. There are sections of loose pumice that are like climbing sand dunes, the weather is ever changing and the trail has a tendency to just disappear as noted by previous reviewers. All in all, I would rate this trail as the most difficult one I have ever done as it just seems to keep throwing obstacles at you over and over again. Whatever time you may have allotted is not going to be enough and you will be simply amazed at how little distance you gain over an hour in some sections, most notably on the South side of the mountain, with the toughest section being between Ape Canyon and June Lake. We did that section in the dark as it turned out.
It's an amazing opportunity to be able to circumnavigate a mountain of this character and geological interest, with mountain goats, glaciers, lava flows, waterfalls...you name it, MSH has it. But just be forewarned, this trail will test you in ways you've likely not been tested before.
The trail is in excellent shape. Starting at June Lake and going Clockwise there is good clean water at 1/3 and 2/3 the way around. This also puts the tough boulder fields in the beginning of your loop so they are much easier.
July 28-30, 2012 - We started at June Lake Trailhead. Camped 7.5 miles in (4 hours) - Plains of Abraham as there is no camping for ten miles once you enter the restricted area. We hiked 15 miles (10 hours) the 2nd day and water was scarce. The South Toutle River area was treacherous and scary. We camped about 3 miles past the river and completed 12.5 (8 hours) miles the last day, stopping at Chocolate Falls for lunch. Awesome trail but washouts have changed the route and can be confusing if you have your face in a map. Our Green Trails map was not accurate in a huge washout area just past the South Toutle crossing. Sunscreen and a hat are a must. Get water when you see it. We easily drank 3 liters per day and cooked with at least that each meal. We only passed 4 other groups of two and three hikers on the entire loop - camping near trailheads was crowded, though. Excellent, challenging hike - my pack was 42.5lbs and hubby's was 45lbs at start.
I've hiked the trail twice using June Lake trail as my access point. Neither time was I able to complete the hike in one day. The first trip was under mostly cloudy skies with rain for about 25 percent. The second trip was under clear skies. Lots of up/down thru ravines - slows down the pace. The ascent out of the South Toutle seems to take forever. The trail had deteriorated some between the time of the two hikes
This is usually a well maintained trail around Mt St. Helens. We went during the summer following some severe winter storms and lost the trail several times because of wash outs, fallen trees and fallen rocks. It was still an amazing trail and I highly recommend it. Make sure you carry a lot of water during the summer because most of the maps that show water are incorrect.