Loowit Trail #216


Loowit Trail #216


Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Ape Canyon

This exciting trail circles Mount St. Helens, allowing you to experience the entire range of effects the 1980 eruption had on the mountain and the surrounding area. 

Loowit Trail #216 is a challenging hike across rough terrain. The trail is not crossed by a single road and can be accessed by "feeder" trails identified by the number #216 and a letter of the alphabet.  The entire route is 30 miles in length and each segment varies in its difficulty rating.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 12/15/2014: Open, snow covered <a href="/detail/mountsthelens/alerts-notices/?cid=stelprdb5290157">Conditions Report</a>
Permit Info: No Permits are required to hike the Loowit Trail. A Northwest Forest Pass is required at various trail head access points.
Usage: Medium
Best Season: Summer
Busiest Season: Summer
Restrictions: NO camping, dogs, bicycles, fires, or livestock in the restricted area between the South Fork Toutle River and Windy Pass. This 10 miles section is to be completed in one day. Please plan accordingly.  Off trail travel is prohibited without a special use permit.
Closest Towns: Cougar WA
Water: Various points along trail.
Restroom: No
Passes: A Northwest Forest Pass is required at various access points to the Loowit Trail.
Information Center: Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument Headquarters and Visitor Centers See also: • Loowit #216 June Lake #216B to Ape Canyon #234
Loowit #216-Butte Camp #238A to Ptarmigan #216A
Loowit #216-Castle Ridge #216G to Sheep Canyon#240
Loowit #216-Ptarmigan #216A to June Lake #216B
Loowit #216-Sheep Canyon #240 to Butte Camp #238A
Loowit Trail #216 Ape Canyon #234 to Windy Trail
Loowit Trail #216 Windy #216E to Castle Ridge#216G

General Information

General Notes:


No Camping or off trail travel is allowed in the north portion of the trail from Windy Pass to the South Fork Toutle River.  This 10 mile streach is to be completed in one day.  Please plan occordingly. Dispersed camping is allowed on other portions of the trail.  Campsite opportunities and water availability are limited. Camping oppurtunities exist on the south side of the South Fork Toutle River, Plains of Abraham and various locations on the south side of the Loowit Trail. Please practice Leave No Trace.


Water is limited in late summer. Year round springs are located at the following locations

  • 1 mile from the Butte Camp/ Loowit Junction on the Butte Camp Trail.
  • 1/4 mile from the Loowit Toutle Junction on the Toutle
  • 1/2 mile from the Windy/ Loowit Junction.

There are additional water sources of snow melt and creeks around the mountain but these may be limited during late summer.

Restricted Area

The 10 mile segment north of Windy Pass and north of the South Fork of the Toutle is closed to off trail hiking, pets, bikes, fires and camping. Portions of this trail system enter the Restricted Area. Travel is allowed on approved trails only.

Off-trail travel and camping are prohibited to protect sensitive natural features and scientific studies. Research permits are required for off-trail travel.

By planning ahead and coming prepared you will be rewarded with impressive views, new discoveries and a sense of awe of the power of a live volcano!



Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW