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

Must do this trail. Awesome photo ops, wry exposed so bring water, sunscreen and your camera.

We were fogged in for our first half of the hike- when we got to the peak- the fog would roll in and out changing every few minutes. On the way back, we did get to see what we were hiking. You can see the parking lot from the peak (if the weather permits). We saw a coyote down near St Helens Lake and a few deer immediately beginning the trail from the visitors center. This hike is long and the end elevation should not be ignored. Gorgeous on all accounts. Saw lots of bear, deer, elk and some mountain goat scat as well but saw no mountain goats!

Beautiful trail. Amazing views of St. Helens pretty much the whole way. The trail is well marked except for one spot - take "Harry's Viewpoint" for the trail to the top of the ridge.

It was a bit of a challenge for being out of shape, but WELL worth it

hiking
22 days ago

Did this trail the last week of September and the fall colors were fantastic. The Toutle Trail from the trailhead to the intersection with the Sheep Canyon trail was in good shape and there were some boards across the creek just below Blue Lake. Doing the loop there were several large trees that had come down across the trail, but none of them presented any problem getting around. My track record came to a little over 12 miles. Three miles to the loop and the loop was six miles. Didn't see anyone else on the trail.

This trail was beautiful with open and changing views the entire way.

The trail itself was clearly defined on the ground and by tall posts and signage. The terrain is smooth and you experience a few small inclines that most people can manage.

It is exposed to the elements so bring sunscreen/ hat, water, and a rain jacket.

Started this hike around 9:30am on a Sunday with very few other hikers.

Car park and visitor center was bustling around 12:30

hiking
28 days ago

I took my time enjoying the cool and quiet PNW forests in the beginning of the hike and took in the awesome views of Saint Helens once I cleared the thicker portion of the timberline. The Sheep Canyon Trail waterfall is beautiful and has the perfect outcropping for an amateur photographer such as myself. Also, seeing firsthand the raw power and destruction of the pyroclastic flows is awesome. The hike is challenging enough but rewarding throughout. I only saw 2 other hikers on the trail that day. Unfortunately there was quite a bit of haze in the air, both from the forest fires in Canada and the rest of the PNW, and I'm sure cranky Saint Helens was doing her part to contribute to the haze. Hopefully someday I'll be fortunate enough to summit her!

Awesome views of Mount St. Helens! I didn’t make it all the way up to Harry’s ridge because it started raining and the clouds covered up Mount St. Helens. I’d love to go back on a clear day and try again. I highly recommend this trail!

hiking
29 days ago

It is a long hike but the views along the trail and from the summit make it worth it. The huckleberry bushes are now (9/18) a deep red and there are a lot of berries on them higher up. Could hear elk bugle frequently near St. Helens Lake and saw two herds of elk on the way back.

Good hike, though we were both pretty tired by the end of it. There is no cover throughout the duration of the hike, so if you're going on a sunny day - wear sunscreen and/or a hat. We went on a cloudy, cool day so there weren't many other hikers on the path. There isn't much that is particularly difficult about the hike other than it's a lot of up and down. The last 3/4 mile to the peak was probably the worst part of it. I wouldn't recommend wearing pants that leave any skin exposed because of some overgrowth on the trail - you don't want to risk getting you ankles cut up. Other than that, it was quite a bit colder as we got up so be sure to layer. On a clear day, you'd get some amazing views of the mountain. I think the coolest part of the hike was seeing so much of Spirit lake. Side note - I accidentally left something at the peak and we tried to go back to get it the next day, but there was too much rain. For that hike we started at South Coldwater lake since we didn't want to do all the up and downs, and I think I liked that way better to get up. You get great views of Coldwater Lake and there's a lot more vegetation.

Go early. First one out in the morning. probably saw close to 150 elk. The bugles were like a symphony. Everyone I talked to on the way back saw no elk. Probably one of the best hikes ever, but you have to go early before animals bed down for the day

hiking
1 month ago

Very pretty views! Pretty difficult for a beginner or not having the proper shoes. Lots of ups and downs and a couple switch backs. So beautiful and well worth it.

trail running
1 month ago

Amazing views and mostly smooth trail with some moderate hills up and down. I only met two people on the whole thing. Not very busy, which was nice because the trail is pretty narrow.

Almost didn’t do this trail but so happy I did. You think you’re getting the best view about a mile from the top but I promise the last push is worth it. From the summit, you have a great view of Helens, Hood, and Adams. Pretty exposed trail but the views are worth it.

We did the loop and the only negative I found was having to walk along the street to get back to our car and that is why I gave it 4 stars instead w 5.

fantastic! only one mosquito August 1 , a few deerfly. my 13 year old did this with me and loved it. saw multiple deer and eagles, under trees, next to the water and some Rocky areas keep it from getting boring and repetitive, scenery is gorgous

This is a hearty hike with spectacular views of Mt. St. Helens (only when you are up on the ridge) and of Coldwater Lake. I went counter-clockwise so did the elevation gain at the beginning. The view from the top of the ridge is wonderful and well worth the hard work to get there. As others have described the downhill portion is a bit overgrown, so hard to see your way and there are not any views because of the dense overgrowth.

The relatively flat north side of the lake is nice - and being rewarded with lake views now and then is a nice reward after the long descent from the ridge. I found a great lunch spot with about 5 km to go in the hike - with nice views, a cool breeze and some kayakers to watch. The only reason this hike doesn't get 5 stars is because of the mile or so that you have to walk on the highway. Not much of a shoulder on the blind curves - be careful. However you get some amazing views of Mt. St. Helens and the inside of the crater which takes a bit of the sting away. No mosquito's when I went in early August. I clocked in at 19.7 km.

Unmatched views of St.Helens. This trail is very long and completely open. Recommend bringing a hat and sunglasses or the sun will wear you down.

hiking
2 months ago

Great views

hiking
2 months ago

Great views of Mt. St Helens the entire hike! This trail is well marked and trafficked. Devil’s Elbow isn’t maintained anymore—it is blocked off and there is an arrow pointing you to stay on the Boundary Trail. Was able to see Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood in the distance while on Harry’s Ridge. There are wildflowers everywhere you look. Pretty exposed hike, so make sure you’ve got sunscreen. I got to Johnston Ridge Observatory around 9:30 and the parking lot was mostly empty.

Excellent hike, I’ve been here 3 times but have only done the full loop once. I walk every day and have a lot of stamina but this hike was tough (at first, as I was ploughing through the hills!)

I suggest starting at the first parking lot (main entrance) and walking out to the main road and following it up to the second entrance. You have to walk on the road anyways for about a mile and I’d prefer to end my trip in the wild than on the road.

Very nice views of the mountain

Good flow and pretty lake views. You have to stop and swim. Best part of the ride.

3 months ago

beautiful view of the lake.

I ran this trail on Monday although we went clockwise and started/ended in the north parking lot. The trail was in nice condition and the scenery was amazing with my favorite area being on the north side looking down on the lake. The elevation climb on the southeast side was tough turning it into more of a hike for me during that portion but it made the last downhill portion back to the car a reward. Even though the last bit is on the highway it didn't take long and the shoulder is plenty wide to avoid becoming road pizza. Total distance came in at about 11.83 miles with 2,178' of elevation gain according to my device.

I am a new hiker with few skills. This was the first time I have ever hiked at any type of elevation or had to bring in water and food...I even brought in a change of clothes just in case so my bag was kinda full. all that being said, I found the first part very steep. I had to stop many times for a break but after that first mile or so it really gets easier. There was also a long section where there were bugs everywhere so I would recommend bug repellent of some sort. It was so beautiful and I'm glad I went. the trail was really easy to follow and the sketchiest part of the hike was the last half mile on the road. Because of the time of year there were several groups if hikers on these trails. There is a bathroom at a lake access point towards the last fourth of the hike if you don't like going outside.

Was a beautiful trail. The machinery was cool to investigate. Used trekking poles and was very manageable for even the novice hiker.

Nice farily easy hike around the lake. We parked at the lot and went counter clockwise to get the highway part of the hike out of the way first which was nice. Very well maintained trail.

hiking
3 months ago

Very little work for a LOT of payoff. Well established, easy trail with some of the most amazing views of St. Helens that you'll ever see. Went in early July and the Wildflowers were absolutely amazing. Keep in mind there are NO DOGS ALLOWED (most hikes in and around this area are no pet zones). Also, the original trail I downloaded from AllTrails had it marked to actually take the Devil's Elbow trail. Once you get there, there is a sign that says not to take it, and for good reason. You would be hugging a cliff side on a trail with loose dirt. DON'T TAKE DEVIL'S ELBOW, just stay on Boundary Trail.

Great hike - Weather was cloudy, so we did not see the top of Mt st Helen, but the views of the valley were awesome! Nice flowers and awesome views! Not to be missed!

I like the view of MSH and surrounding area, the incredible wild flowers, and the diverse elevation. The late June weather was ideal. It was crowded but not in an annoying way. We saw a mountain goat at the top in the distance.

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