Loowit #216- Sheep Canyon to Butte Camp Trail

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

This 3 mile section of the Loowit Trail #216 starts at the Sheep Canyon Trail #240 junction and runs south to the Butte Camp Trail #238A junction. 

This section of the Loowit trail weaves in and out of timberline skirting Mount St. Helens' western slope. The trail crosses large glacial canyons and avalanche chutes that are more typical of Mount Rainier or Mount Adams, the Cascades' older and more weathered volcanoes.

Here you can enjoy the beauty of subalpine settings and a bounty of wildflowers during the summer season. Explore numerous mudflows and the rugged jumble of rock from past lava flows. Please stay on the trail and protect the fragile meadow of Upper Butte Camp where important plant succession research is taking place. Check out the panorama views to the south and east including views of Mount Hood, Mount Adams, Yale Reservoir and the Lewis River Valley. 

This section of trail receives minimal maintenance and traverses the western slope of the mountain, connecting Sheep Canyon Trail #240 to Butte Camp Trail #238A. It gains little elevation on the route, descending and ascending steeply only out of the glaciated valleys. 

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Winter conditions exist. Expect snow and ice.
Usage: Light
Best Season: Summer and Fall
Busiest Season: Summer
  • 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. 
Closest Towns: Cougar, WA
Water: No
Restroom: No
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument Headquarters & Visitor Centers

General Information


This segment can be accessed by Sheep Canyon Trail #240 or Butte Camp #238A. Both trails are accessed via the Toutle Trail # 238.

Blue Lake Trailhead (Forest Road 8323) - accesses Toutle Trail #238 and Sheep Canyon Trail #240

Red Rock Pass Trailhead (Forest Road 81) - accesses Toutle Trail #238 and Butte Camp Trail # 238A.




Hide detail HIDE


Difficulty Level: Moderate
Areas & Activities



  Area/Length : 
3 miles

  Elevation : 
4700' - 4800'


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