Explore the most popular forest trails near Morton with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

The views on this trail are just awesome.

Coming from NF-99, the road was washed out. There were at least 5 trees fallen on the road about 4 miles from the trail head. I think people have accessed from Rd-26, but we decided to try for another trail and came across another road that was closed for construction.

Hiked July 26: this one has it all: abundant wildflowers, steady inclines, patches of snow, creeks to cool off in, wild huckleberries, raspberries and strawberries. Breathtaking and astounding views. Very well marked trails, easy access to TH. Well worth the 3 hour drive!

I backpacked this route on July 1st and 2nd, 2018. Starting at Windy Ridge, I went counter clockwise around the mountain, choosing to get through the approximately 10 mile no camping zone on the north side first.

The parking area is the Windy Ridge interpretive center and the road that shows on maps leading from there to a closer trail head is gated off. You will have to hike from Windy Ridge about two miles to get to the Loowit Trail. A National Forest Pass is required to park, but no other fees or permits are required for this hike.

The north side of the volcano is the side that blew up in the May 18, 1980 eruption. It is still very much a desolate area with no trees and very little vegetation beyond grass and some beautiful fields of flowers. The numerous river flows off the mountain are wide areas of rocky ground over which any semblance of a trail cannot survive from year to year. Look for the stacked stone cairns and single wood posts that mark the trail.

The first couple of miles on this route crossed several rivers that were still flowing with water, but after that there was no water available until the Toutle River on the west flank of the mountain. The desent into the Toutle River gorge was a little hairy. The trail traverses steep slopes consisting of loose volcanic gravel and should be traveled with extreme care. At the bottom, the last 50 feet to the river bed can only be reached hand over hand down a knotted rope anchored at the top for that purpose. It is a steep enough drop that you will not be able to keep your feet should you let go of the rope.

The Toutle River was not difficult to cross at the time I traversed it, but I found the area on the south side of the river to have surprisingly few decent camp sites. Camping here was also challenging in that water had to be retrieved from the Toutle, which had rope assisted climbs in and out of it on both sides. I located a camp site a short distance further down the trail to the south near a stream.

The southern portion of the mountain is characterized by large and very deep washes that are both challenging and hazardous to cross. One was steep enough that ropes had been fixed on both sides. Without them, it wouldn't be possible to get through it. There are also large stretches of lava fields where the trail is often visible only because of the marker posts. Trekking poles are invaluable tools in this terrain and don't expect to make good time.

I encountered no water sources from my camp near the Toutle River all the way to a stream a short distance from June lake, a distance of 10 miles, give or take. I also saw few camp sites, those that were there being devoid of water sources. I did not visit June Lake, though I was told by other hikers that camp sites were available there.

From June Lake the trail begins a steady uphill stretch that seems to go on forever. On the eastern side there was a section of wash outs, some six or seven in a row. Once your are through that, the trail levels out for an awe inspiring walk across the plains of Abraham. The views of both Mt St Helens and the hills to the east are incredible.

The decent down the ridge on the Abraham Trail is steep and covered in loose gravel. There are wooden steps set in the trail to assist hikers in keeping their feet, and they are necessary. It was very windy when I went through here, to the point that I was nearly knocked off my feet a couple of times.

Overall, this was one of the most beautiful and rugged hikes I've ever been on and I highly recommend it for experienced hikers that are looking for a challenging trail.

hiking
3 months ago

this is a beautiful trail but I wouldn't call it lightly traveled. Of all the trails I've hiked around here so far this one had the most people on it. The Falls are beautiful the scenery is beautiful it's a good hike

hiking
3 months ago

The road is a little rough in places on the way up to the trailhead. I would recommend a high clearance vehicle. There were a few other vehicles at the trailhead. I think I saw 5 people all day. It's a well maintained trail and it looked as if someone had come through recently to cut back trees that had fallen in the trail. There are many creek crossings in the trail. Some are small and you can basically step over them, others I was grateful to have waterproof boots and trekking poles for stability. The many waterfalls are incredible and so worth it! The main one is only about 1 mile in. About 5 miles in there was still some snow on the trail, but nothing that was difficult to walk over. At the 6 mile mark there are other trails that you can continue on.

hiking
4 months ago

June 2 2018, great hike. Great people on the trail. The big falls was a sight to see.

one of my fav. trails I have ever done. 2 waterfalls 100' or more & a dozen amazing smaller ones. tough dirt rd to trail for a low car but made it within a mile & walked the rest. At trail junction the left is washed out bad about a mile in i didn't make it past but worth it for the falls. The right trail has yet more waterfalls leading to what i believe is deadman lake.

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked Goat Creek Trail #205 (near Morton) to Vanson Lake. But turned around mid-way due to snow. Cathedral Falls is snow free.

Rd 2750 has average pot holes and a few big ones. There are some flat spots. It gets rougher toward the end. High clearance vehicles won’t have a problem. Careful driving for lower clearance vehicles. Parking at the trailhead will accommodate many vehicles.

The trail is as you’d expect. Easy to Cathedral Falls. It’s 1.25 miles in and beautiful, but I was expecting there to be more water.

It is snow free beyond Cathedral Falls past the Jct of Trail #218. Keeping right, the first signs of spotty snow are just beyond that. It’s off and on for about ¼ mile until it becomes constant around the 2700ft level a ½ mile after the jct. In the beginning, the snow is slushy and slippery but only inches deep. Soon it’s a foot deep but firmer and lightly travelled. Then becomes mid-thigh post-holing. After this the tracks stop and I was the only one. Breaking trail was about knee deep post-holing with some butt deep post-holing. That’s where I turned around and actually lost sight of the trail at the 3000ft level at a very beautiful cascading falls. At the 2900 ft level, there are 2 very big blow downs across the trail that require hiking around. Snow makes it more difficult.

All and All it was a good hike. Snow made it more challenging and I will go later in the year to make it to Vanson Lake.

Did part of this trail today. It was beautiful! Roads and the trail up to the waterfall are clear. Snow about half way up the trail prevented us from getting to the top. Need snowshoes still (easy to lose the trail and the post holing was going to be too tough for us.) This trail is nice because of the changing scenery along the route.

hiking
6 months ago

A couple of good pot holes on forest road so take it slow but gate is open.. you can get all the way up to the trailhead.. no snow on trail either....wet in spots but not bad at all..falls are flowing real good!!

truck now required to get to trail head. also right now I would consider some of it a snow hike.

The road wasn't as terrible as we expected it to be. The trail was pleasant and the falls were amazing. Good hike for all ages and abilities.

Great views of both Mt St Helens and Adams from different points of the trail. Very easy hike.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Dogs are aloud on this trail head according to 'Washington Trails Association'. As long as they are on leash.

Truly breathtaking

hiking
Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Long but rewarding. Definitely recommend taking the lower trail. When you get to the creek (right after a noticeable increase in incline) the trail can be easy to miss. Hike perpendicular to the creek to continue. Don't try to hike up the rocky creek path like we did at first.

The lake is gorgeous and very peaceful.

hiking
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

I hiked with my 7 month old daughter in a carrier and while the up and down was rough because I'm out of shape and had an extra 20 lbs, the multiple water falls is well worth it! Drive careful too! Happy hiking!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Beautiful waterfalls, fun water crossings. The second half of the trail is a bit overgrown, and there's a lake at the end, but not a showstopper. Still a lovely hike, I'd do it again. The road sucks. Our Subaru did just fine.

hiking
Saturday, April 22, 2017

road going up is pretty rough. waterfalls are beautiful right now but definitely be ready to get your feet wet. some deep snow twards the end of the trail.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Lots of water flow right now. It made for some amazing views of the waterfalls and rivers, but be prepared for wet feet. At some points the trail itself was a running creek. It was easily hiked by my three children (the youngest being 7), and we did it in less then 4 hours(we took play breaks).

camping
Thursday, December 29, 2016

I had the best time there

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Amazing old growth forest!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Went up this weekend. it is not closed. not at all. there was plenty of people there. and no gates were closed or locked. I don't recommend anything with low ground clearance getting to the trail head. driving was a little rough. not 4x4 only just rough. the trail it's self was way worth it. I'm coming back and doing more. I love this place.

hiking
Saturday, August 27, 2016

As of August 27, 2016- Road closed at the start of Conley Rd. due to extreme fire hazard. No access to the trail to do this hike

hiking
Sunday, May 08, 2016

This hike was fun, really awesome waterfalls along the way. The drive was a little sketchy on the way up in a 2013 Ford Fusion, it scraped the skid plates a couple times :(. only did about 4 miles of the hike this day because we got a very late start. The hike we intended to do had the road washed out, we just happen to stumble upon this one after some locals tell us about it. Still was awesome and fun. Easy hike, even for kids!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

My mite and I went last week end and it was a beautiful experience. Must do trip I will be going back for sure

hiking
Sunday, September 20, 2015

This is a gem hidden deep in the forests north of St. Helens. It's a short, easy trail that features some ancient douglas fir trees that are redwoods/sequoia size.

It's really magical. And happens to be wheelchair accessible.

off road driving
Monday, July 20, 2015

Access to Goat Creek is closed by the Port Blakely Tree Farm Company due to extreme fire hazard. Will likely be closed the rest of the Summer.

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