Explore to do - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
17 hours ago

It was a good time to be had. Not too difficult, not the easiest thing I’ve ever done. Maybe don’t try to climb around the rim if you’re inexperienced or weary of heights.

on South Sister Trail

hiking
20 hours ago

We hiked yesterday, beautiful but hard! I am a runner & in good shape but struggled with altitude as was a grind at certain places (smoke from fires didn’t help). Took us 8 hours & we started early at 6AM based on reviews which was good suggestion- gets hot! Dress in layers as hot on hike up but cooler at top. There are some rocky/ sandy sections where hard keep footing so be careful. Bring hiking poles, good shoes, lots water & snacks. Sadly 8/19 had lots smoke & think today & next few days will be worse so check air conditions & put off if you can as marred our views, although still beautiful. I saw a few dogs on trail & as a dog owner/ lover- don’t bring them! It is a hard hike- lots climbing & hot, rocky & hard on my feet so can only imagine theirs.

backpacking
1 day ago

Camped in a wind shelter near the summit August 17 to 18, 2018. High of around 65 during the day and low of 40 at night, though it felt colder from the wind. From noon to 3pm, it is comfortable to wear just a t-shirt and shorts at the summit. Outside those hours, the temperature got chilly. Sunset, sunrise, and stars were fantastic.

Not a summit trip, due to being beat up by a Rainier climb the day before, but still an amazing place to explore. There isn't anywhere else on the planet quite like St. Helens.

Fun hike on Saturday. We parked in the first parking lots, although the road leading to the closer parking lot has been repaired since last time I was there, and I would drive it if I went back. Not too muddy. For four quick hikers and a dog, it took us 3 hours and we clocked almost 8 miles (we walked the gravel road to the trailhead, adding about 3 miles)

hiking
1 day ago

Nice trail but too crowded. The waterfall is worth it!

Definitely a rewarding hike. I loved it.. by far my favorite place.

Leave early, bring lots of water and don’t bring your dogs. Take your time. This was my first Mountain with high elevation gain and I took it slow. We left at 6 am and got back around 4:40 pm. Beautiful butterflies at the top. The smoke was a bit intense and didn’t let us see far out views but it was still rewarding.

I’m from Florida so this mountain was tough!!!! The elevation was hard on me. It just gets worst the higher up you go. I took two poles and thank god I did. They saved me twice from falling coming down. Bring lots of water and snacks!!

hiking
2 days ago

Tough hike but worth the effort.

Summited August 18th with my mom for her 50th birthday and four of my aunties! Fantastic hike, it was my second time summitting. Views were incredible both on the ascent and at the top. Bring at least 4 liters of water and research what to pack!

Easy trail/road that connects with alot of other trails on the mountain. it is a gradual up hill. I would call this more easy than moderate. Beautiful views of the mountain.

hiking
2 days ago

Moderate, but on the lighter side. On a good day you can see Rainier, St Adams & Mt Hood at the same time if you take the short trail extension at the top,

Hard, but worth it in the end!

Very hard hike but so worth it! Boulder section was THE most challenging for me. Never ending. The climb to the top was hard but since I knew I was right there it was ok. Beautiful day!!!

This is a difficult but fun trek up to a beautiful summit. The last bit is a challenge but the 360 degree view is incredible and well worth it. We saw a lot of wild flowers, berries and fungi along the way and made several photo stops as the view is spectacular at several points along the way. Bring water and sunblock, there’s a good portion out from under the trees.

Beautiful! Moderate hike, hard on some of the switchbacks and uphill parts (depending how much weight you’re carrying). Bring a lunch to eat on the lake with a gorgeous view. Definitely worth the hike!

Avid adventurer hailing from the Wasatch Front, Utah. This was a great hike, plenty of good elevation gain in various sections, views from all sections were amazing. Such and interesting landscape, really enjoyed the variety of environments. The lava field was amazing to look at from the false summit. It’s immense and is very Jurassic looking. The ascent up the ridge to the south sister summit is awesome, the only drawback being the volcanic sand that’s hard to keep solid footing on. The glacier on the right was beautiful and fun to look at. Reaching the summit of the south sister...greeting you is a volcanic bowl with a glacier and two small glacial pools. Plenty of great spots for scenic photos of the valleys and lakes below, along the rim.

This is probably one of my favorite hikes I’ve done. It’s definitely a workout, but very doable if you have the right gear and endurance for a 12 mile hike. We started out early (6am) and were happy we did as it got pretty hot in the afternoon. Took us 5 hours to summit (taking a fair amount of water breaks) and 3.5hours to come down. I would echo the recommendations for good hiking boots, tall socks (gaiters, if you have them), hiking poles, and 3L of water. The views at the top were really incredible and worth every step!

Hiked 8/13.

Awesome hike and such a beautiful view. I definitely recommend swimming.

I got engaged by the lake when we got to the top. I’m pretty sure Andrew (from the comment below) took pictures of our proposal. The pictures are absolutely amazing! Thank you again, Andrew!

Did this hike on 8-17-18 and it. Was. Amazing. So so so steep. Yes, completely agree with the rest of reviews that going down was very hard but the climb back up...harder. So, so, worth the work, though. Those falls are incredible. Should be rated hard- no doubt.

Total disappointment. While people have posted some beautiful pics of the gorge, if you follow the loop trail indicated by alltrails, you will see nothing remotely worthwhile. I am moving out if state next week and choose this hike as my last one based on all the great reviews. What a waste. Wish I had known what trail to take or continue on to actually reach a scenic view.

This hike is certainly not an easy one but boy it’s worth the grind.
The boulders do go on forever and right when you can see the summit and feel as if it’s within reach, then comes the ash scree! The last 200-300ft are the hardest in my mind.
But once you reach the summit, the pain will be worth it. Along the trail up, there are gorgeous views of Mt Adams and Mt Hood too. Will do it again!

Great climb, great views, and overall great experience! The climb will test your endurance and potentially your route finding skills (although the snow is quickly melting).

I did it as a sunrise climb and it was well worth it!

Video: https://youtu.be/nQiuuwkJUkI

it was hard but definitely worth the view.

I hiked it July 1st. i did it, but i am a climber. There will be to much snow (dangerous) until about mid July unless you have an ice axe and know how to use it. Nice hike with nice views. The trail, before I hit the snow, was in good shape.3 miles is a really short trail.

Awesome hike! view was phenomenal! I think I'd prefer to do it with snow on the ground. It was a very toughugh hike with no snow. View is great the whole way up. Really hot once passed the tree line. Be sure to have your snacks, 3-5 liters of water, trekking poles, and sunscreen. Can get windy.

We did the loop and the only negative I found was having to walk along the street to get back to our car and that is why I gave it 4 stars instead w 5.

Grueling trek. Boulder fields seem to go on forever, and the final uphill over the loose ash is harsh and you'll doubt your ability to reach the top. Once you get there the views are amazing.

hiking
5 days ago

Amazing hike with amazing views. It was definitely the hardest hike I’ve ever done. Trekking poles are strongly recommended. The wind towards the summit can be extremely intense, so bring layers.

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