Trail #234 Ape Canyon

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

St. Helens, lahar flow, south side

Beginning next to the mudflow that traveled down the Muddy River drainage, the trail climbs steadily through a plantation of young trees before entering groves of giant Douglas fir, silver and noble fir. The trail then emerges on an open ridge top with views east into Ape Canyon and in the distance, Mount Adams. Wildflowers, when in bloom, paint these meadows in vibrant colors. Continuing along the ridge, the trail passes through patches of 1980 standing dead forest before emerging at the top of Ape Canyon, where it terminates at the junction with Loowit Trail #216.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 11/18/21: Expect winter conditions. Road to trailhead may be snow-covered and will close December 1st.
Operational Hours: Forest Road 83 normally melts out and opens toward the end of May, but opening dependant on snowmelt and then road maintenance. Closes with snow or Nov. 30.
Rentals & Guides:    
Fees $5/vehicle/day or valid Recreation Pass required at Ape Canyon Trailhead. See Mount St. Helens Map for fee and payment sites.
Usage: Medium
Best Season: Summer
Busiest Season: Summer
Closest Towns: Cougar, WA
Water: No
Restroom: No
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center:

General Information

General Notes:

 Ape Canyon Trail # 2234 is a popular trail for both hikers and mountain bikers. Visitors can expect high mountain bike use on weekends. Please be curtious and share the trail.


Parking can be busy on weekends.


From Cougar, WA take Lewis River Road east for 2.8 miles. The road then changes to Forest Road 90. Continue on Forest Road 90 to Forest Road 83, approximately 4 miles and turn left. Drive Forest Road 83 for 8.4 miles to the Ape Canyon Trailhead. The trailhead is on the left just before the end of the road at the Lava Canyon Trailhead.

General Notes:

Ape Canyon Trail #234 is a popular trail for both hikers and mountain bikers.  Visitors can expect high mountain bike use on weekends.  Please be courteous and share the trail.


Parking area is small and busy on weekends.



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Related Information

Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
5.5 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
2900 - 4200


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