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mt st helens Map
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15 hours ago

There are 2 levels to this cave. The main tube (I think it's the lower cave) is really easy walk. We got bored with it and turned around. The other level ( upper cave) is pretty rough. The Rangers said that it is for more experienced cavers. People have had to be rescued due to concussions, broken bones and getting stuck. There's a wall that you have to climb over. Once you do that, there is no turning back and you have to continue onward. This was our first cave, so we didn't do that one. This is info that the Rangers shared with us. Have fun, but be careful!

hiking
1 day ago

SO MUCH FUN. I’m so used to trail hiking that this was such a fun break! We did the lower cave first, then walked up the hill and went DOWN the upper cave rather than up. The rock scrambles in the upper cave are so cool and tons of fun to climb up, but going DOWN there are a few 6-8 foot drops you have to get down that are a little complicated (I needed help down one of them because I couldn’t reach the foothold). USFS and NW Forest Passes not sold on site from what I could see, so make sure you buy ahead of time. I used a flashlight and the flashlight on my phone because I left my headlamp at home. Would definitely suggest a headlamp, possibly gloves, and hiking boots to make your life a little easier on the way. Also FOR SURE dress in layers! The caves hang out at about 45*F year round! Lots of bruises from the rocks but it was totally worth it, one of my favorite adventures I’ve done to date!

Fantastic trail

It was one of my favorite hikes

If it weren’t for AllTrails, I wouldn’t even known of this waterfall. There are no signs at the trailhead but finding it was fairly simple. There are wooden stumps blocking a makeshift campsite on the side of FS90 which the trail is on the right. The trail to the waterfall viewpoint is extremely small and easy but the view is obstructed from tree limbs so not the greatest picture taking place. There is a faint trail just down from viewpoint that leads to the bottom of the falls but it is not for everyone. Be extremely cautious.

hiking
3 days ago

Awesome hike! We took our 5 year old and he did awesome. There were some hard parts with climbing rocks but he made it through the whole trail! I suggest flash lights, gloves for climbing the rocks and hiking boots, no flip flops.

Great hike...good workout...decent elevation gain! The signage could be better!

hiking
3 days ago

hard upper caves. but worth it

nature trips
3 days ago

pretty n easy

Tuesday early afternoon, we saw about 15 people total, which is more than I'm used to on other trails. Everyone was super polite and we still got to the lake and enjoyed it solo for almost 45 minutes, which was a real treat. Not as many bugs as expected, very clear and easy hike. Definitely a good starter trail or hike with kids. Only a short part vaugely close to a drop off but the trail is wide and it's not directly adjacent the trail.

Hiked this on August 5, 2018. Started at Norway Pass trailhead at 9:45am. It is a gradual ascent. Not difficult, but can be tiring. Very little shade and it was a hot day. Stayed on the Boundary Trail #1 until we got to Whittier Ridge Trail #214. There were a few people on the trail as well. All but one were headed to the easier Mt. Margaret. Wildflowers were in bloom, berries were abundant...so were the bugs...bring bug spray!

The views were amazing! Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adam's and Mt. St. Helen's were in full view for most of the hike. Along with some lakes, including Spirit Lake. We spent a lot of time stopping for pictures and just enjoying the view. There are campsites along the route and saw just a single camper. (jealous)

We could see the jagged peak of Whitier from a distance, but did not think twice about what was to come until we were upon it. We reached the ridge about 1pm. I would be lying if said I wasnt nervous. the rock faces and scrambles looked difficult. But we pushed on.

The climb wasn't that bad. Not technical. Can be a bit unnerving though. There is no definite trail, but was easy to find the best path over and around rocks. Took an hour to make it to the top! I think a mile or less. So take it nice and slow. You can do it! We enjoyed our lunch, sitting on the the top of Mt. Whittier, enjoying the view, in complete silence. What an incredible landscape! We didn't want to leave, but the clock was ticking and we still had a 2.5 hour drive afterwards. Going down was a little tricky, but much faster than going up.

Since the trail leading there was mostly uphill, it was a nice fast-paced hike downhill, all the way to the trailhead where we started.

Total time: 7 hours
Total miles: 13

This was a nice leisurely pace and enjoyed taking my time and soaking in the scenery.

hiking
7 days ago

Hiked this trail 7/7. Did the lower section first, which should be rated hard. It is not for small children, dogs, or anyone fearful of heights. I am none of those things but there were a couple of places on the trail that sped up my heartbeat!

As noted by another reviewer, several people have died on this trail, I imagine they went beyond the many signs telling them to stay on the trail. We saw quite a few people doing just that the day we were there. The ladder is tall but very sturdy. However, there is one place one the trail that is quite skinny and you also have to step up a couple of feet. Yikes!

Turned around at the bridge and back up the way we came down, then did the easy loop across the suspension bridge. The water is beautiful.

fantastic! only one mosquito August 1 , a few deerfly. my 13 year old did this with me and loved it. saw multiple deer and eagles, under trees, next to the water and some Rocky areas keep it from getting boring and repetitive, scenery is gorgous

This is a hearty hike with spectacular views of Mt. St. Helens (only when you are up on the ridge) and of Coldwater Lake. I went counter-clockwise so did the elevation gain at the beginning. The view from the top of the ridge is wonderful and well worth the hard work to get there. As others have described the downhill portion is a bit overgrown, so hard to see your way and there are not any views because of the dense overgrowth.

The relatively flat north side of the lake is nice - and being rewarded with lake views now and then is a nice reward after the long descent from the ridge. I found a great lunch spot with about 5 km to go in the hike - with nice views, a cool breeze and some kayakers to watch. The only reason this hike doesn't get 5 stars is because of the mile or so that you have to walk on the highway. Not much of a shoulder on the blind curves - be careful. However you get some amazing views of Mt. St. Helens and the inside of the crater which takes a bit of the sting away. No mosquito's when I went in early August. I clocked in at 19.7 km.

Getting to the trailhead is simple enough. I came up by way of Merrell Lake and the Kalama Horse Camp. I think most people go up and past Ape Cave but both are fine. As others noted, the trail is in great shape. Bring water and DEET with you though! The lack of water along the hike was disappointing to me but it was still a great time.

I would suggest that you explore the actual lower camp area once you get up to the base of Butte dome. The camp ain’t much... a couple of logs serving as benches around a fire ring but still...

The second recommendation is to go that last mile to reach the Loowit Trail. The views are spectacular and once you get above the tree line, well that’s just cool experience.

Most of the hike is in the woods so catching those grand vistas up past lower camp is exceptionally worthy.

hiking
10 days ago

Multiple wonderful views of beautiful waterfalls, coupled with somewhat scary cliffs to traverse. There is plenty of solid ground at these points, the narrowest point being about a foot of trail, but it is quite a long way down. I highly recommend this hike as the environment is quite fantastic, but watch your little one's closely. If you are bringing a dog, these is a 30' steel ladder, nearly vertical, that you need to scale. Plan accordingly.

on June Lake Trail

backpacking
10 days ago

Beautiful views of the mountain and stream. June Lake is pretty to look at, but it is not a lake; it's the little cousin of a pond. Not great for hammock camping if you need relatively specific distances between trees for your tarp, and don't plan on even getting your shins cooled down in the "lake". Great day hike if you just want to see some views though!

Assuming you do the trail clockwise be careful as you come back around the west. The trail is almost non existent and incredibly slippery. Lots of wash out - I would stay away actually. Wildflowers right now are awesome. No mosquitos.

Unmatched views of St.Helens. This trail is very long and completely open. Recommend bringing a hat and sunglasses or the sun will wear you down.

hiking
11 days ago

We did the whole trail. The top part of the difficult section was a little nerve racking for me since the ledge is thin and some loose dusty ground there. But it was well described.

Took us 2 hours round trip

12 days ago

Great hike, super easy but great views for not a ton of effort. Beware though - we saw (not exaggerating) probably 20+ different rat snakes along the trail. They were harmless, but still... snakes.

hiking
12 days ago

Great views

hiking
13 days ago

Aug 2

I like this trail. Worth squirming your way to the waterfalls when you get to the lake. Theres the big one and a misty one with great photo ops. Pretty quiet and easy trail. Mushrooms  everywhere but can’t pick

Technically this trail is 3 modes of difficulty. You have options. The first is a paved interactive walk that has plenty of marked signage and history about the formation of Lava Canyon. It is wheelchair accessible and fairly straightforward.

The second trail is a loop. It is easy to moderate depending on what time of year you go. The trail gets slick in places. This is the portion of the trail that has the (amazing) 128 ft suspension bridge and the ladder. Its quick and I saw several families as we hiked. Kids love the suspension bridge. After the suspension bridge you can choose to go down and to the left which leads into the canyon or you can go up and to the right which continues the moderate loop you are already on.

Did I try the advanced trail? No. There is signage EVERYWHERE about people who have died because they didn't understand the risks. The third option is for experienced hikers and climbers. From what I understand it is a canyon that follows the flow of the falls. It is slick, steep, and dangerous. I know what my hiking level is. Someday I will get there. But not today.

overall the moderate Lava Canyon trail is what most think of when they learn about the trail. The views are incredible. The contrast of blackened lava and ice feed waterfalls against a cool green backdrop of forest and moss is stunning. You can see how the eruption of Mt. St. Helen's impacted the area because you are literally standing in the wake of dried lava flow 38 years later.

hiking
17 days ago

Hiked up just past where ape canyon trail intersects loomit loop, ate lunch, hiked back down. Clocked it at 10.3mi in 5 hrs including stops (doggy sniffing included).

* dusty and dry. BRING WATER especially for furry friends - there are 0 spots for them to drink from any bodies of water. Period.
* pretty flat footing all the way up since it’s a mixed use trail used by many mountain bikers.
* steady incline with a few ups and downs. No steep bits. I would put this on the easy side of moderate, with the only moderate part being the length. It really was quite an easy hike.
* all the mountain bikers we ran into were super respectful and conscious of hikers being on trail.
* great views of St. Helens, Adams, and even Rainier!
* bugs weren’t bad in the morning, but got bad as the day got hot. There were only a few mosquitoes towards the beginning, and the rest of the way up it was just a lot of flies. They were more annoying than anything. We got very few bites from the mosquitoes and the rare biting fly. Once we popped out onto the plains, there was an amazing breeze and the bugs were gone.
* LOTS of other trails to connect to and directions to go in once you reach the plains if you’re looking for a longer trek.

17 days ago

Very unique! Def make sure to take gloves and layers. It’s 40* down there. Wouldn’t recommend taking little kids through the whole length of the caves. Def a must see.

hiking
21 days ago

Nice, easy hike to a lake with a waterfall flowing into it. The lake didn't look very appealing to swim in because the it has a gooey muddy shore and is pretty shallow, but it's beautiful for taking a photo. I want to come back and do a backpacking trip up further on the Loowit Trail.

We were there on a summer weekend but only saw a handful of other people. However there was a considerable amount of trash on this trail; I picked up 3 aluminum cans, a gatorade bottle, plastic food packaging from where someone had camped at the lake, and a lot of micro-trash. There were cigarette butts, dog poop bags, and used TP as well that I did not pick up...

Gradual accent. Not an ankle breaker. Bring lots of water (I finished 3 litters at the turn around point) and sun block. Wear a wide brim hat. The trail has few shades. As soon as you turn into the Whittier trail the overgrowth takes over. Nothing really dangerous, there’s a lot of places to hold on to. Also the first spine looks passable but it’s not (not for me, i had to go back half way through). The paths is on the left side of the spine. Your reward for this 12 mile hike is that you get a view of Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, and three lakes.

hiking
23 days ago

Great views of Mt. St Helens the entire hike! This trail is well marked and trafficked. Devil’s Elbow isn’t maintained anymore—it is blocked off and there is an arrow pointing you to stay on the Boundary Trail. Was able to see Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood in the distance while on Harry’s Ridge. There are wildflowers everywhere you look. Pretty exposed hike, so make sure you’ve got sunscreen. I got to Johnston Ridge Observatory around 9:30 and the parking lot was mostly empty.

Excellent hike, I’ve been here 3 times but have only done the full loop once. I walk every day and have a lot of stamina but this hike was tough (at first, as I was ploughing through the hills!)

I suggest starting at the first parking lot (main entrance) and walking out to the main road and following it up to the second entrance. You have to walk on the road anyways for about a mile and I’d prefer to end my trip in the wild than on the road.

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