Explore the most popular snowshoeing trails in Gifford Pinchot National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Take the trail across the parking lot from the toilet, not the Tarbell trail next to the toilet. The Tarbell bridge is pretty much in the river and you can’t cross it so the trail is useless.
Hurray for poles!!! If you’ve got them, it’s definitely worth bringing them.
Take a right at the big rock pile when you get closer to the top.
Views of Mt. St. Helens, Rainier, Adams and Hood!
Also, if you’re coming from Portland and don’t have AWD and decent clearance you should opt for the route via Washougal.

Awesome trail with wonderful panoramic views. Climbed it for the first time yesterday (May 12th 2018).

About 10 miles round-trip. With only a light backpack, and stops for photos on the way, the hike was 2-2.5 hours up, and 1-1.5 down. Except for one or two steep parts that aren't exceedingly long, the hike is a gradual uphill that most won't struggle with. If you're thinking of turning back early, don't. The views get better and better until you're actually at the Observatory. Highly recommend.

The Good: The trail was a decent first hike of the season. Great weather provided for a great 360 degree view of tge countryside. Would do it again with a friend.

The Bad: Snow and some exposure

The Ugly: I tried a variant where I attempted to loop in Sturgeon Rock and come back via the Tarbell Trail. At this time, DO NOT do this as the lower Tarbell trail is closed to logging.

2018 - May 7

Great hike and pretty physical.

2nd half of trail was still compact snow. Should be melted in 3 weeks give or take. Bring hiking poles.

View was 5/5 - equidistant to St.H/hoot/Adams with great views

Trail was pretty rocky at times, heading back down wasn’t a fun hike for me so 4/5 rating seems schwifty

15 days ago

Such an awesome trail! Don’t bring anyone that’s afraid of heights, there’s a few sketchy sections, but overall not bad. Basically no snow, there’s maybe a section of 10ft at the top that’s melting away. A-mazing views and sun for days today 5/5/18

16 days ago

Lot tougher then expected, the grades toward the top were rough. Crampons at 1 mile, snowshoes at about 2.5. Sunscreen is a must. Also make sure you wear easy to remove layers. left the lot at 0530 it was in the 20's, in a mile was down to a tee shirt. Was sunny and in the 70's really wished the snow pants I had on had shorts under them for the climb up. Loved them glissading on the way down though.

21 days ago

First time here, very cool experience. Went on the last day of an April heat wave, snow was very soft. Can’t wait to go back again sometime. Make sure you bring snow shoes, crampons, and an ice axe. 98% of everyone out that day had snow shoes and trekking poles. I got away with crampons till I switched to snow shoes the last couple hundred yards, though I’m not sure that was any easier.

22 days ago

A fantastic climb, make sure you bring snowshoes, crampons (or at least micro spikes) and an ice axe. Be careful at the top, there is a cornice at the edge of the summit that is difficult to see at first. Incredible views, next time I’ll brings skis.

26 days ago

First time hiking a real mountain and I’m officially hooked. Went on 4/22/18 and lucked out with a very clear day. Views of Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Rainier. Summiting was an awesome experience!!!

26 days ago

This was my first time here and I did the trail clockwise, starting at the southern entrance near the signage, and wish I had gone the other way! I still had a lovely time but felt my views would have been better going counter clockwise.

Either way - lovely hike, excellent views and well maintained trail. A little muddy in spots and some bigger branches but all easy to get around.

I started at 6AM and it was very windy in some of the more exposed spots of the trail. Was the only car in the lot when I began and there were four others by the time I finished around 730.

26 days ago

Moderately easy hike with gradual elevation gain, great views of crater/blast-zone, in an other-worldly setting. the lack of trees and piles of rock and ash resemble the surface of the moon. very cool for a day hike. trail is in great condition.

27 days ago

Enjoyable scenic hike.

Great hike. Still a lot of snow on trail, so would like to do it in summer when clear, but gorgeous with the snow overlay!!

28 days ago

Beautiful views of the snow covered mountains, on this clear April day (last time we came, it was overcast). Nice trail for our group, ranging 10yr - early 60’s. We saw some beaver, water fowl, other birds and a few other hikers. There are restrooms not too far from the trail head. Good way to spend Earth Day :)

28 days ago

Awesome hike! Did this two days ago and loved how it gave total views of Mt. St. Helens, the blast zone, and the forrest. Lots of trails are still closed, and the overlook doesn’t open until May 16th, so check in with the visitor center to see which trails will be open for you to use.

I climb it today April 21 I absolutely love the trail 100%

A beautiful, quiet snowshoe with the dog. Saw not a soul on the pine marten or June lake trail that morning. Still about 3 feet of snow at the lake, had to break my own trail from about .25 miles out. I was surprised there was not more foot traffic, but glad for it. Roads plowed / all asphalt getting to marble mountain.

1 month ago

The primary winter route. I have done this route seven (7) times this 2017/2018) winter. On a nice day you will have an amazing view. Basic mountaineering gears will be essential for your safety. Have snowshoes and crampons ready as they may be the deciding factor between you making it to the summit rim or turning around. Some day you can just boot it to the summit but other days you will need snowshoes or crampons as you will posthole or slide on ice. Just be prepared and you will have a great time here.

Beautiful hike with great views of St. Helens. I went in mid March and there was still snow in some places.

2 months ago

Beautiful hike! I would definitely do it again, but in the summer. My car could only make it within 2 miles of the trailhead, so we walked up the road to get there. We had to stamp through the snow the entire time, which made for an adventure! However, I definitely recommend snowshoes if you hike in the winter months. The views from the top were stunning and made the trudging worth it in the end.

Hiked to the High Hut on Monday, 3/5/18. Good conditions, saw 28 people on the trail, most were coming down. Trail is well groomed. View at the top was awesome, even though Rainier was in the clouds. Gaia gps had the trail at 8.12 miles, round trip, from the lower parking area.

One of my favorite hikes! Done it many times and it's good in any season! Amazing views of Mt St Helen's, Mt Rainier, Mt Adam's, Mt Hood and Mt Bachelor from the top!!

3 months ago

This is a five star snow shoe. Some of the lower rating are off season as these are pretty much for the snow shoe trails. If I am not mistaken its like the only real snow shoes trail system in out area. Any trip you take is worthy whether you see Rainier or not. On Sunday the road was free and clear of any snow to the 3000' level. This does change daily and can change quickly so be advised. The snow was a tad wet but there was no rain due to a Pineapple Express. The hike to the High Hut is a steady up hill grind but take your time and you will be fine. It takes roughly 1.5 to 2 hours with a steady pace. Here you can take off your boots and relax. There is probably some tea in the drawer and a tea kettle always sits on the stove. There is a fireplace if you feel the need. Usually during the day the huts are pretty warm anyways. Enjoy this awesome place as well as take care of it as its operated only by volunteers who spend a great deal of time keeping the huts and trails in tip top shape. Thanks MTTA!

Fun trail. Hiked on 1/20/18. Needed snow shoes to get to the top.

4 months ago

Fairly straightforward and easy approach to Mt St. Helena crater rim.

There are definitely higher elevations to the west of the crater rim if you feel like hiking around.

Conditions will really make or break this hike; I lucked out with near perfect weather.

Absolutely stunning views from the top on a clear day!

5 months ago

Hiked this today with my wife, my 9 year old daughter, and my 7 year old son. It was a fantastic trail with amazing views. The loop had a perfect mix of trail covered with trees and openings with scattered rocks and mounds. Saw quite a few hikers on the loop. Clean trail, but we did pick up a plastic bag and a water bottle. Plenty of poison oak so watch out.

6 months ago

This trail is part of the Mt Tahoma trails association. There are several other trails in the area. Looks like a great place to go snowshoing in a month or so.

Headed out early on a Saturday morning in hopes for a sunrise summit; unfortunately mother nature had other intentions. The hike started wet and ended frozen, with snow and slush for a good portion of the hike.
The fall colors were in full bloom and by having snow on the ground we were able to identify animal tracks (cougar, bear, dear).
My only real complaint is that hunters were in the area which left me unsettled while hiking but all in all it was a great hike with lots of uphill and what I'm assuming would be spectacular views on a clear day. Total mileage was 6.7

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