Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

Gorgeous day, beautiful hike. The Johnston Observatory closes for the season in less than a week, so it wasn’t crowded at all. We only saw 10 other people on the trail today.

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

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
1 month 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
1 month 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!

hiking
1 month ago

Great loop good chance to see wildlife

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
2 months 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.

hiking
2 months ago

This is a beautiful loop. Due to Helen's eruption in 1980, you can still see the damage/change done to the area; this makes for an ever-changing hike.

Blessed to make it out on a clear blue sky day. This path is right along the visitor center and features amazing views of Mount Saint Helens and the peak of Mount Adams.

cross country skiing
2 months ago

great

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.

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.

3 months ago

Great hike, super easy but great views for not a ton of effort. Beware though - we saw (not exaggerating) probably 20+ different rat snakes along the trail. They were harmless, but still... snakes.

hiking
3 months ago

Great views

Nice views but we only had time for the observatory and the short hike and it cost $8/ person for a green wrist band. Make sure to get your money's worth if you go, skip this and hit the other areas of the park-

hiking
3 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.

I agree not really a trail but the views were great of the mountain and the way nature has reclaimed the land after the volcano erupted. Forty years of progress is pretty amazing.

hiking
3 months ago

great trail for kids!

Very nice views of the mountain

As others have mentioned, not really a trail..but does provide awesome views!!! Absolutely worth the detour on the way to Seattle! (At least once!)

4 months ago

it was a great trail for beginners and going counterclockwise has better views of the mountain and overall was amazing

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.

Easy access with great views. More of a walkway than a trail.

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail with beautiful views! Great for family with older kids (8+ years)

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.

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