Ape Canyon Trail is a 11 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Cougar, Washington that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length11.0 miElevation gain2,083 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashCampingHikingMountain bikingNature tripsBird watchingForestRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeRocky
Description
Waypoints (0)
Getting There

This is an incredible trail. Safe to say there is nothing quite like this anywhere in the states. You climb through a forest that somehow survived the blast of St. Helens with views getting better and better the farther you climb. Then, you pop out of the woods and begin traversing the Plains of Abraham.

From Seattle -I-5 south to Exit 21 at Woodland. -Hwy 503 / Lewis River Rd East towards Cougar. (continue 23 miles) -Straight onto Lewis River Rd (don't turn south onto 503). (continue 8.6 miles) -Lewis River Rd becomes NFD Rd 90. (continue 3.2 miles) -Left on NFD Rd 83 and follow it to the end (11.2 miles). The Ape Creek trailhead and Lava Canyon trailhead are separate paved spurs at the end of FR-83. You want to bear onto the spur that goes left to find the (signed) trail entrance. This takes 1.5 to 2 hours driving time from I-5.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (363)
Photos (553)
Recordings (299)
Completed (673)
View user's profile page
Sierra White
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 28, 2020
HikingGreat!Snow

The road getting there wasn’t too bad, we did just fine in a Subaru Forester (would not recommend for cars or vehicles that don’t have high clearance/AWD/4WD). The trail was snowy from the start, but was manageable in micro spikes earlier in the day while it was still firm. Probably should have put on our snowshoes from mile 3 to the Loowit trail Junction, but did okay without them (just would have been easier). We did use them on the way down and were quite pleased since the snow had softened a bit in the sun. Only snowmobiles were up there today, otherwise we had the whole place to ourselves! 10/10 day.

View user's profile page
Frank Krawczyk
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 27, 2020
HikingSnow

Nice in the snow last weekend. Hiked about halfway to 3.5 miles back. Best views were within a mile of the trailhead with spectacular sunset and snowy view of the mountain.

View user's profile page
Heidi Sebunia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 21, 2020
Walking

Amazing snow. Beautiful views. Great company. No restroom at TH, but there is one at the snopark.

View Heidi's Recording
View user's profile page
Heidi Sebunia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 14, 2020
HikingGreat!
View Heidi's Recording
View user's profile page
Jake Reichardt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 8, 2020
Hiking

11/8: Light snow dusting on the trail as you gain elevation. Saw quite a few mountain goats on Pumice Butte. Roads clear in mid-am but may have had light frost earlier in the morning. Unfortunately the views across the canyon were obscured by low clouds, but Mt St Helens was beautiful as always.

View Jake's Recording
View user's profile page
John Goodpaster
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 8, 2020
Hiking
View John's Recording
View user's profile page
Dan Sikorski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 7, 2020
Hiking

Excellent hike with great views and wildlife.

View Dan's Recording
View user's profile page
Robert Moiola
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 1, 2020
HikingGreat!

Perfect weather for a morning hike. Saw some wildlife (owl, squirrels, chipmunk, mountain goats at the top) and enjoyed the fall colors contrasted with the stark beauty of MSH.

View user's profile page
SN Hays
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 1, 2020
Hiking
View SN's Recording
View user's profile page
Kara Master
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 1, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful day for a hike. Views of St. Helens, Ranier, and Adams. Went early. Not too busy.

View Kara's Recording
View user's profile page
Claire Sroka
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 1, 2020
Hiking
View Claire's Recording
View user's profile page
Josh Brown
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 1, 2020
Hiking

This area is magnificent! The view of the slide is almost indescribable. It’s well worth a short hike into for a quick photo op with St. Helens in the background.

View user's profile page
Taylor Reavely
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 31, 2020
Hiking

Second time on this trail...I had forgotten how perfect the trail is—climbing 1800’ but with enough little dips and plateaus to feel like pressing on is no issue. I had also forgotten how incredible the views are 4 miles in (my gps read 4.5 to the Plains of Abraham, trailhead sign posted 5 mi to the Loowit Trail). I had, however, never before counted 40 mountain goats on a hike. Took us 2hrs and 45min for the 9-mile round trip. Brisk, but no snow yet!

View user's profile page
Chad Wintringham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 31, 2020
Hiking
View Chad's Recording
View user's profile page
Mike W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 29, 2020
Hiking

Fun

View Mike's Recording
View user's profile page
Leilani Lamoreaux
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 25, 2020
Hiking
View Leilani's Recording
View user's profile page
Chris Anderson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 25, 2020
Hiking
View Chris's Recording
View user's profile page
Joseph Coulter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 25, 2020
HikingGreat!

Fun

View Joseph's Recording
View user's profile page
Jeff Scott
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 25, 2020
Hiking
View Jeff's Recording
View user's profile page
Britt Allen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 25, 2020
Hiking
View Britt's Recording
View user's profile page
Chad Wintringham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 25, 2020
Hiking

Amazing!

View user's profile page
Ashis Kumar Sahoo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 18, 2020
HikingGreat!

Went all the way to the 6.75 mile mark. A lot of the trail is on the edge of the mountain slope, so the views are amazing for most of the trail. At the end of 5 miles there is another 1.75 miles on the Plains of Abraham which is also totally worth going for the views. The trail continues further than that, I think it goes all the way around the mountain. But didn't have time to explore further.

View user's profile page
Alice Laffey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 17, 2020
Hiking
View Alice's Recording
View user's profile page
Emily Manke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 12, 2020
Hiking

This is a great trail- my dogs (border collies) have explored rocky areas up top almost every year for past 10 years & haven’t had any issues but there are definitely some sharp rocks. This particular trail has gotten more popular each year with the mountain biking crowd, it’s almost not worth it for hikers anymore.

View user's profile page
Chuck Green
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 10, 2020
HikingScramble
View Chuck's Recording
View user's profile page
Amanda Marler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 29, 2020
Hiking

This was a good workout for me and had some good views. We didn’t go all the way to the end of the AllTrails route because we didn’t have booties for our dog and the trail was starting to have a lot of pumice. We were worried about his little pads. So unfortunately I can’t comment on the views at the end.

View Amanda's Recording
View user's profile page
Josh Rybak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 27, 2020
HikingGreat!

Really enjoyed this hike. Consistent uphill but nothing too strenuous. Below the tree line the majority of the trail but you’ll still have some quick views of St. Helens, Hood and Adams before you get to the open part of the trail, which is where the views become incredible! Would highly recommend this for a nice little 4-5 hr weekend workout. Beware of all the mountain bikes. Everyone was nice, but definitely had a few close calls with bikes coming around blind corners. Bring water as this is a dry trail all the way up.

View user's profile page
Keith Pirkl
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 27, 2020
Hiking

Bring field glasses so you can see the Mountain Goats

View Keith's Recording
View user's profile page
siva Prasad gadey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
Hiking
View siva Prasad's Recording
Showing results 1 - 29 of 363