Explore Washington Hikes - 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
1 day ago

The trail is in good shape. Starting off from the parking area you have beautiful views of Mt. St. Helens for a short stretch, then you’re in the trees for a good three and a half miles before it opens up near the timberline. The last mile to the Loo Wit Trail is much more of an incline than the first three miles, so be prepared for a more strenuous finish. About a quarter mile from the intersection with Loo Wit the trail hooks sharply to the right, but if you’re not paying attention you can easily continue up a dry creek bed and lose the trail. If you’re ever hiking in the creek bed, you’re off trail. Other than that, the views on top are spectacular, even with all the smoke still in the air. Have fun!

hiking
3 days ago

Life goal check! My first real hike in 2 years so it was a challenge. I went all the up to the end of the trail. Views are spectacular!

This hike really impressed us. We were looking for something a little bit different than the usual mountain hikes were used to, so we decided to give this trail a try. We really enjoyed that the trail was unique, in that you’re quite literally traversing down a canyon adjacent to magnificent gushing water and waterfalls. We enjoyed the views most on the lower portion of the trail, and especially loved the ladders...just got a kick out of those! All in all, we loved it and would definitely do it again!

Awesome!

Fantastic trail

One of our favorite hikes in the gorge. Well maintained, easy to moderate shaded ~3.5 Mile out and back with ~800’ vertical (according to my gps). Good for families and dogs. The falls are amazing with a great viewing area. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy!

The road to the trail head is rough but doable in a stock 4Runner.

Definitely go up Ed’s Trail and come back on the Silver Star path. Breathtaking views of the area.

hiking
12 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.

Absolutely stunning! Everyone should see this spot!

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
14 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.

It is an easy hike, which doesn’t take long with a beautiful waterfall you can sit in front of and enjoy. Most the trail is shaded, and it’s nice and cool by the waterfall!

the views at the end were good, but half the hike was paved and it was a little upsetting

hiking
16 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

Lovely waterfall, short hike

My daughter was driving her Honda Pilot and was not comfortable with driving up the last 2.4 miles to the trailhead so we parked and walked to the trailhead adding another 4.8 to the overall hike but it was still an amazing hike. I’m pretty sure someone with more experience (and patience) would have been able to make it to the trailhead in her Pilot but she was not about to try. This is the third or fourth time I’ve done this hike but still love it and will probably continue to hike it from time to time.

hiking
18 days ago

Saw ducks, blue herons, cranes, hawks, several varieties of small birds, deer and nutria. The four hundred year old oaks are amazing.

hiking
20 days ago

Nice peaceful moderate hike.The waterfall is spectacular. The last 2 miles of road to the trailhead is full of potholes.

Perfect hike! Great views! Single file trail most of the way.

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.

Excellent hike! The trail was very well maintained and I had no issues with bugs at all. The creek was cold but felt so good on my feet after a long day.

The only negative I have to say is, there were SOOO many people camping. Wow.

Nice walk along a picturesque and melodious creek. Not crowded. Stunning set of falls thundering into a verdant bowl you can climb down into. The mist from the falls is a fabulous way to cool off on a hot day.
2 miles of rough road to get to trail head but not a problem unless you slammed your car.

It was a decent trail but directions to get here are very confusing and we ended up parking on the side of the road. Just from walking the trail, it came through the university so parking there would have been much easier. Trail goes through trees but you also walk on paved sidewalks next to the roads/traffic. Busy trail.

I love this trail. Great walking path and fairly level. We only did the lower falls and then climbed up and took the trail back. Decided not to do the upper part, maybe next time. The hardest part of this trail is the short yet steep trail leading to the top.

This is a fantastic hike. Had my dog with me so had to turn around about half way due to steep rock climb. Pretty slippery and would be easy for her or I to lose our footing and it would be a looong fall down. Didn't want to chance it. Will definitely go back without my adventure buddy to do the whole thing. Love that it is difficult to get to so not too many people (relative to other hikes in the area). On way back down the road there were a lot of cars parked on the narrow road making it difficult to get around them on the washouts.

3 snakes in about 8 miles on a hot, sunny day. Not bad!

hiking
24 days ago

Awesome hike, would definitely recommend. The beginning starts out easy with lots of ups and downs and follows a cute little river/creek for a while. Gorgeous views everywhere. The first waterfall is beautiful and bigger than I’d anticipated. You then can walk back a little while and hike a tiring incline to see a second waterfall and cool off in the river. Very beautiful, not that many bugs and an overall good experience. There is also only one pit toilet at the beginning

Just did this hike yesterday and have to say that with all the Eagle Creek closures, this will be my new favorite. My husband and I were shocked at the amount of cars in the parking lot bc it’s pretty remote, but we really didn’t run into that many people along the way. At the Y we went left first and ended up above the falls. I will say that it’s a pretty steady incline but we love the challenge. The upper falls is small but still a gorgeous hike. The trail is well maintained.
Headed back down and went to the right at the Y which takes you right to the main falls. It is breathtaking. It really made me feel like there is still some of the PNW’s jewels in existence. We went down to the pool and it was at least 20* cooler with the mist, which was to die for on this hot day. To the upper and lower falls and back was just a bit over 5 miles and definitely worth every step. I will go here again without hesitation

was great little trail not super long but reward at the end was pretty sweet

Too many people but still a decent hike. Gorgeous weather! Ultra clear and cold stream water but also refreshing.

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