Loowit #216- Ptarmigan to June Lake Trail


Area Status: Open
Loowit TR Southside2

This 3.1 mile section of the Loowit Trail #216 starts at its junction with Ptarmigan Trail #216A and runs east to to the June Lake Trail #216B junction. 

On this section of the Loowit Trail you will pass through a subalpine forest setting where you can discover hoop trees. During the 1980 eruption, small saplings were weighted down by heavy ash fall. Their tops remained buried, so they grow in a "hooped over" position. Enjoy spectacular views of Mount Adams as you travel through a vast meadow at timberline's edge. Then descend into the many-layered canopy of an old-growth forest. Ford the snowmelt creek at the crest of Chocolate Falls, a slurry of rock- and silt-laden waters that roll and churn down a 40-foot drop. Follow the trail over rugged rocks of an ancient lava flow that coursed down the mountain 350 years ago. As you near June Lake, pass through trees that managed to elude Mount St. Helens' eruptions for hundreds of years. 

This minimally maintained trail travels at timberline for most of its route. It passes over the rugged rocky terrain of lava flows and occasionally enters into subalpine or old-growth forest. 

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.
Usage: Light-Medium
Restrictions:
  • Off-trail travel, dogs, 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.
  • Research permits are required for off-trail travel. 
 
Closest Towns: Cougar, WA
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center:

General Information

Directions:

June Lake Trailhead (No Fee) - June Lake Trail #216B to Loowit Trail.

Climbers Bivoac Trailhead (Fee site. Busy in summer.) - Ptarmigan Trail #216A to Loowit Trail.


Activities

Mountain Biking

Difficulty Level: Difficult

Backpacking

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Location

 
  Area/Length : 
3.1 miles

  Elevation : 
3400' - 4700'