Trail #240 Sheep Canyon

Area Status: Open
MSH from Loowit TR

This trail offers an excellent loop opportunity through a continually changing volcanic landscape. Use Toutle Trail #238 from the Bluelake Trailhead to access the Sheep Canyon Trail.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 03/19/2024: Sheep Canyon Trail is open.
Operational Hours: Forest Road 81 normally melts out toward the end of May. Closes with snow or Nov. 30.
Fees: No fee or pass required at Red Rock Pass or Blue Lake Trailheads. See Mount St. Helens Map for fee and payment sites.
Usage: Light-Medium

Horses are prohibited on:

  • Toutle Trail #238 north of the Sheep Canyon Trail #240 intersection
  • Sheep Canyon Trail #240 east of the Toutle Trail #238
  • Butte Camp Trail #238A
Closest Towns: Cougar, WA
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center:

General Information


Blue Lake Trailhead to Toutle Trail to access Sheep Canyon Trail.


Mountain Biking

Day Hiking


From the Sheep Canyon Trailhead the trail gently ascends into an old-growth forest. The trail then follows the canyon edge of Sheep Creek where a 75-foot ribbon of water streaming down a solid rock cliff can be seen. Sheep Creek was scoured to bedrock by an abrasive mudflow in 1980 that banked from side to side as it roared down the valley. The trail merges with Toutle Trail #238 for several hundred feet before branching eastward and crossing a small side stream on a bridge. Continuing, the trail passes through forest and over old lava flows before ending at the junction with Loowit Trail #216. To extend your walk, travel north then west on Loowit Trail #216 to the South Fork Toutle River and junction with Toutle Trail #238. Take the Toutle Trail south to the Sheep Canyon Trail and back to your starting point. This loop is 7.1 miles long.

Horse Riding

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
2.5 Miles

  Elevation : 
3400' - 4600'