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Boundary West Trail is a 9.5 mile loop trail located near Toutle, Washington and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and snowshoeing and is best used from June until November.

Distance: 9.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,909 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

snowshoeing

running

no dogs

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

Trail mostly in good condition, a bit muddy in places. Very busy! Quite narrow in places to step off for adequate physical distancing. Shame the low lying cloud obscured the view of the volcano!

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

The only thing that could have been better would be less clouds! I could see to the bottom of the snow line, but the majestic gal stayed hidden for my hike. I’ll be back later in the season on a clear day! There were two small 10’ or so sections that took some careful footwork on the way down, but nothing too bad.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

This was a beautiful hike. We started at the 4.5 mile point because the road was closed beyond the parking lot for Hummocks loop. There were definitely some nerve-wracking sections where the trail all but disappeared.

no shade
Sun May 12 2019

I did this trail today starting at the Hummocks trailhead and I went up to the lookout and then the extra mile to Johnston Ridge. I got there around 8 am and there was only 3 other cars in the parking lot. the hike is very open so bring sunscreen and lots of water. There is no rest area in the parking lot so prepare for that. I would not recommend bringing anyone that is scared of heights. as you get up higher theres some really rocky/dusty parts where the footing I'd a bit loose and you're on a pretty steep dropoff. I was a bit nervous but I was fine with just my hiking shoes and taking my time. I saw a lot of people on my way down and when I got back to my car in the afternoon the parking lot was really full! overall: really fun hike with lots of amazing views of the mountain

hiking
Mon Apr 29 2019

Did early season, lots of elk

backpacking
Sun Feb 03 2019

Beautiful! Second Saturday in a row hiking this trail. There is one switchback a couple miles in, when you start climbing the ridge, where the gravel gets loose and the drop is steep, and it was a little nerve racking, especially coming down. But I took it slow and watched my footing, and that was the only spot on the trail that I noted could use some repair. Also bring something to keep the sun off you, you're exposed most of the hike.

hiking
Tue Nov 13 2018

Take wind gear. You’re pretty exposed at the top so when the wind whips some ash & dust in your mouth & eyes it’s a bit crazy. Chilly but scenic & beautiful hike, I would go again.

hiking
Tue Nov 13 2018

Beautiful November day for a hike, but WINDY for most of the way. Take layers if you want to be comfortable. Fall colors were pretty, where there were trees! I'm a bit puzzled by the trip reports that report on hazardous trail conditions. I'm a pretty timid hiker, but this route is absolutely enjoyable with only about 20 footsteps total where I had to watch my footing. Just a gorgeous hike, with awesome views of St Helens (as expected, but wow). Will definitely go again.

hiking
Sat Oct 20 2018

This tops out as one of my all time favorite hikes. Tired of endless switch backs through evergreen forests? Miles of trekking with nothing to see until you get to the top? This is like being in Jurassic Park! (Minus the dinosaurs). An amazing change in terrain, cliffs, rocks, small patches of forest full of berries in the summer, lots of birds and fields. You get a full amazing view of the mountain during this hike if it's clear. Seems like a lot of the reviews mention this being 'scary' and having sketchy sections of the trail...not really. This is not scarier than any other hike on a mountain. There is no danger of falling, there were no sections of the trail that had less than four feet of space with a drop off to one side. This is also a great place to go to get away from people. Once I left the Hummocks, I saw ZERO people. Both times that I've been out.

hiking
Sun Jun 03 2018

Beautiful trail through early Alder forest then exposed hillsides w view of Mt St Helens the whole way. Wildflowers are out. Saw very few people for such a beautiful day. Take sunscreen! And water! Trail is sketchy in places. But mostly fine. I started at the Hummocks and didn’t do little loop then came back after Loowit. Clocked 8.6 miles RT.

hiking
Sun May 06 2018

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

hiking
Sat Sep 23 2017

Beautiful hike!

running
Mon Apr 25 2016

view of St helens 80% of hike

hiking
Fri Dec 18 2015

A great hike full of raw nature. Spectacular views of Mt. St. Helens and the evidence of the devastation that remains. Trees and trunks blasted apart and lying in the direction of the blast. Sparse wildflowers trying to repopulate the barren land. Lessons to be learned on Leaving No Trace. We only hiked about 2.5 miles out and back from the Johnston Ridge Observatory to the point where we could see Spirit Lake and Mt. Ranier in the distance.

hiking
Sun Nov 22 2015

Awesome trail that is not for the slight of heart. Steep slopes and narrow trail on loose rock. It's worth it if you can handle it! Btw 504 is closed from coldwater lake to the observatory as of 11-21-2015. Happy trails!!

hiking
Sun May 10 2015

My review is two-fold. Five stars for the spectacular views of Mt St Helens but one star for the trail itself. First off, this trail is 4 miles one way to Johnston Ridge Observatory after it leaves the Hummocks Trail after .9 miles. The map is correct but the GPS tracks uploaded are all wrong, as they leave from JRO and head east. This is nearly a 10-mile roundtrip. I will say this: it was the scariest trail we have ever been on, and we have hiked every weekend for years. There were sections of the trail that were slanted with nothing but loose pebbles underfoot and hundreds of feet drops into the Toutle Valley if you slipped. The views were spectacular and the first two miles of trail were beautiful, safe and in great shape. Turn around after that and you will be just fine. But the erosion cannot easily be controlled on this trail and from my perspective, it's not worth dying to hike it. For every mile of trail, there is maybe 50-100 feet of bad footing. Not a good risk-to-benefit ratio but it's not obvious until you have gone too far and realize that your only option is to go forward and hope for better conditions, or go back over the terrible trail you just passed over. Not safe options at all. By the time we reached Johnston Ridge Observatory, we were exhausted from the stress and decided that we would rather take our chances of being hit on WA 504, so we walked the eight miles back to the Hummocks Trailhead. Yes, it is THAT bad. Rationally, I know that hundreds of people safely traverse this trail each year and you may decide you are one of them. If you do, trekking poles are an absolute must if you decide to hike this trail! Also, a GPS can help you navigate offtrail to avoid some of the more horrible areas. But most cannot be avoided. I uploaded some images showing these areas so people can make informed decisions. The one shows my wife negotiating one section and the other shows a yawning abyss with a ton of loose scree on the left of the picture. That scree IS the trail, and it makes a hairpin switchback up that hillside.

hiking
15 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

walking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
7 months ago

snowshoeing
8 months ago

recorded Boundary West Trail

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

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