Loowit Falls Trail is a 8.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Cougar, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October.

Length8.1 miElevation gain1,171 ftRoute typeOut & back
BackpackingHikingNature tripsBird watchingForestLakeRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeRockyScrambleNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (3)

The first part is a walk along a forest road (closed to the public) to the actual trail. It is worth taking a stop at the recording station just a little way in to read the plaque and appreciate the view. Upon reaching the trail, you cross what looks like a dry riverbed, and round a shady bend with a lovely small patch of forest. From there you start up the actual debris flow, and the view just never stops being breathtaking. It looks deceptively easy from here, but make no mistake, you are constantly dipping in and out of runoff channels, and many of these dip are more of a scramble than a hike. About 3/4 of the way in, you'll come to a small creek surrounded by trees, but do not stop just yet. You can hear the much larger creek coming from the spring just a few feet down the trail, and this is where you want to stop and rest. This is truly a little oasis. You can see the water erupting from nothing, and the water here is incredibly cool, clean, and refreshing. There are lots of boulders to sit on. From here, it's a short hike to the fork up to the falls. The trail up to the falls viewpoint is not particularly steep, but much of it is just waking on volcanic debris, and it is harder than it looks. The end of the trail is marked by a large rock pile, and the view of the falls from here, as well as the surrounding gorge are unforgettable. You also have views of the top of Mt Rainier, and Johnston ridge from here. The walk back down to the main trail is much easier, and there is the chance of spotting mountain goats. The rest of the return trip is really not much easier than the trip in, because you still are dipping in and out of runoff channels. That said, you are facing spirit lake, and the views continue to boggle the mind. Mount Adams is your constant companion for the last segments of the hike, and taking the time to appreciate the geologic history laid bare in the naked rocks is a great way to kill time. Along the road for the last couple of miles, you can see layers of pumice from multiple eruptions over the centuries, and, and the spectacular colors of the rock comprising the surrounding valleys.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (98)
Photos (474)
Activities (70)
Completed (245)
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Jared Ellis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 16, 2020
Hiking

Was it my brightest moment? No. Was it fun? Yes. Did I get to the top? Absolutely not. Would I do it again? Only once I have snow shoes this time of year. Great hike but there about a foot deep of snow maybe 1.5 miles in. If you have the gear it could be fun. Oh and the dirt road leading up requires some legit off-roading and serious vehicle clearance to make it to the trailhead. Journey well

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Chris Hodge
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 3, 2020
Hiking
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Andrew W
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 3, 2020
Hiking

Even though it's dry and there's no snow in sight (except on Adams, Rainier) the falls are still flowing.

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Kirstin Thompson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 3, 2020
HikingNo shade

Great trail! It was about 70 degrees and I got burnt. I didn’t realize the first two miles is on a gravel road but the views were amazing. We saw Adams and Rainier. 5 Mountain goats spotted.

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Jamie Crites
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 6, 2020
Hiking

lots of different types of terrain and bring lots of water and a good hat

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Ewoks A. Lot
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 2, 2020
HikingGreat!No shadeRocky

Everything said elsewhere about the trail is true. It's not impossible, but it is a moderate hike and you should be prepared for the excursion and exposure to the elements. The road to the TH from the south is paved, but as you pass Cougar will get worse and worse - a lot of pot holes, slides, and occasionally real, real tight corners. There are big pockets of no cell reception - but with Verizon I found some service at the TH and at two points along the trail. 3L of water was more than enough for me. Very few other people on the trail. 11 Mountain Goats total yesterday.

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tera underwood
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 31, 2020
HikingNo shadeRockyScrambleWashed out
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Michelle Ekstrom
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 25, 2020
HikingGreat!

Yesterday was a perfect day for the hike, windy ridge was really windy but it felt great! The Falls were beautiful & we were fortunate enough to see 10 mountain goats while up by the falls. Trail is good but signs can be a bit confusing. Wear hiking boots & carry a light windbreaker, not much shade but windy.

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Shawnda Macie
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 16, 2020
HikingGreat!No shadeRockyScramble

Amazing hike. Did it yesterday. Windy Ridge was not windy today so the hike was sweaty. The views are amazing. Saw 6 mountain goats.

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Jon A
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 15, 2020
Hiking

Pretty good hike, started at 5:30, saw 3 elk at the first observation station, made it to the falls and saw 5 mountain goats. Made it back to the truck by 9

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Ryan Brothers @brotherstouring
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 12, 2020
HikingNo shade

This place should be a National Park. Agree with the rest of the community; windy, hot, no shade. 16 mountain goats spotted including babies. So unreal. Trail is good. Surprisingly stable ground for most of it. Hard to believe it was only 40 years ago it was all different on the north side. Drove up from Oregon and the roads were sketchy at times from volcanic activity or lack of maintenance. Most drivers respected the fact that it turns into one lane at times unless you want to bottom out. Long day, long hike but easily 5/5. Wish there was a bridge to get closer to waterfall but obviously it’s still rockslide territory.

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Chelsea Fuller
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Hiking
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Bret Shroyer
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Hiking

Easy to moderate hike great views out and back, saw a dozen sheep and one brown bear

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Jeffrey Loftus
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 31, 2020
HikingFeeGreat!No shade
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Justin Lassila
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 28, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!No shadeRockyScramble

Unique hike in a semi-barren landscape with fantastic views of Mt. Adams, Hood, Rainier, and Spirit Lake. You have to hike in about two miles or so to get to the actual trail. There is no shade so be sure to wear sunscreen and cover up. There is a few areas where you have to scramble around some rocks and boulders. Most of the elevation gain is in the last half mile before you get to the falls.

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Karlyn Shannon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 25, 2020
HikingNo shadeRockyScramble

This was a beautiful hike with gorgeous views. Don’t forget your walking sticks (useful for some of the washout scrambles), wind breaker (even if its a seemingly hot day) and lots of sunscreen.

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