Loowit Trail #216- Windy to Castle Ridge Trail

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

This 7.8 mile section of the Loowit Trail #216 begins at its junction with Windy Trail #216E and ends at the Castle Ridge Trail #216G junction.  

Hike into the very heart of the blast zone on this section. Discover how a debris avalanche, a pyroclastic flow and a mudflow transformed the features of the area forever. Obtain views of Loowit Falls and the steaming dome and crater of Mount St. Helens. Learn about the important research taking place that enables scientists to unlock many of the mysteries surrounding volcanic eruptions. 

This intermittently maintained trail traverses the pumice plain and broken terrain in front of Mount St. Helens. The trail is subject to washouts. The route is marked by wooden posts and rock cairns. 

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Winter conditions exist. Expect snow and ice.
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Travel is allowed on approved trails only. Off-trail travel, dogs, livestock, fires, bicycles, and camping are prohibited to protect sensitive natural features and scientific studies between Windy Pass and the South Fork Toutle River. Research permits are required for off-trail travel. 
Closest Towns: Randle WA and Cougar WA
Water: No
Restroom: No
Passes: A valid Recreation Pass is required at Windy Ridge Interpretive Site.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument Headquarters & Visitor Centers

General Information


Closest trailhead for Windy Trail 216E is at Windy Ridge Interpretive Site. (Fee site)

Closest trailhead for Castle Ridge Trail 216G, is Blue Lake Trailhead. (No Fee)



Hide detail HIDE


Difficulty Level: Difficult
Areas & Activities



  Area/Length : 
7.8 Miles

  Elevation : 
3800' - 4560'


Bat with White Nose

Help Protect Bats!