Loowit Trail #216- Ape Canyon to Windy Trail

Area Status: Open

This 3.7 mile section of the Loowit Trail #216 begins at the Ape Canyon Trail #234 junction and ends at the Windy Trail #216E junction.

Wind around the east side of Mount St. Helens and enjoy views of the surrounding area. Travel over Windy Pass and then descend to the Pumice Plain. View miles of landscape transformed by the power of a volcanic eruption.  

This intermittently maintained trail traverses the east side of Mount St. Helens. In places the trail location is identified by wooden post route markers and rock cairns. 


Ape Canyon Trail #234 provides access to this section of the Loowit Trail. Windy Trail #216E connects Truman Trail #207 to Loowit Trail #216.  

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 05/09/2024: Even though the trail is open, it is likely covered in snow. Access to Ape Canyon Trailhead is blocked at this time due to snow. The gate at Marble Mountain is closed, stopping access, due to the snow levels. Snow in this area usually melts out by the first or second week of June, and in some cases into July. Access to this area will be solely dependent on warmer temperatures and snow melt as Forest Road 83 is not plowed beyond Marble Mountain Sno*Park. The entire length of the trail will be snowbound and there is no access to Windy Ridge from Forest Road 25 to Forest Road 99 at this time because of snow levels, which will usually melt out sometime in June also. 
Fees: No fee or pass for trail use, however a $5/vehicle/day or a valid Recreation Pass required at some access points including Ape Canyon Trailhead, Climber's Bivouac Trailhead and Windy Ridge Interpretive Site. See Mount St. Helens Map for fee and payment sites.
Usage: Light-Medium
Busiest Season: Summer
  • Off-trail travel, bicycles, camping, fires and livestock are prohibited to protect sensitive natural features and scientific studies between Windy Pass and the South Fork Toutle River. This 10 mile section must be completed in one day.  See Mount St. Helens Map for information.
  • Pets must be kept on a leash at all times.
  • Research permits are required for off-trail travel. 
Closest Towns: Cougar, WA; Randle, WA
Water: No
Restroom: No
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center:

General Information


Ape Canyon Trailhead - Ape Canyon Trail #234 provides access to this section of the Loowit Trail. 

Windy Ridge Interpretive Site - Accesses the Truman Trail #207 which connect to Loowit Trail #216 via Windy Trail #216E.


Mountain Biking

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Day Hiking

General Info:

Seasonal Information

Summer - Fall

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
3.7 Miles

  Elevation : 
4200' - 4850'