Loowit #216- Butte Camp to Ptarmigan Trail
This section of the Loowit trail provides an invigorating and challenging hike across the rough terrain typical of a young volcano. The trail climbs over lava flows reminiscent of rock gardens thick with heather and delicate mosses. Here you can enjoy excellent views as you travel along the southern slope of Mount St. Helens. Pass through the tall spires of scattered subalpine firs and mountain meadows speckled with wildflowers. See the backbone of Monitor Ridge looming larger and larger on the horizon as you near the junction of Ptarmigan Trail #216A.
This trail receives minimal maintenance and gains little elevation as it follows the timberline of Mount St. Helens. Steep ascents and descents can be expected over massive lava flows. The route is marked by wooden posts over sections with minimal trail tread.
At a Glance
|Current Conditions:||6/30/22: A particularly snowy winter and spring has resulted in challenging conditions on the Loowit Trail. Areas with tree cover along the West side will likely have a considerable amount of downed trees and will retain snow into early July. Trailwork will be delayed, or may not occur at all. In addition, fall atmospheric river events may have caused significant washouts and the trail will be hard to discern in areas, particularly those with volcanic ash and pumice on the North end of the loop. Travel with caution.|
|Fees:||No fee or pass required 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.|
|Best Season:||Summer and Fall|
|Closest Towns:||Cougar, WA|
|Operated By:||Forest Service|
Red Rock Pass Trailhead (Forest Road 81) - accesses Toutle Trail #238 which leads to Butte Camp Trail #238A.
Climbers Bivoac Trailhead - accesses Ptarmigan Trail #216A. (This trailhead is not recommended as it is very busy in the summer.)