Loowit Trail


Backpack - Loowit Trail

Summer solstice 3-day circumnavigation of Mt. St. Helens. You must have hiked with Delores and Meryl to request permission for this trip. You must be ready to go by Friday. This is a cross between a backpack and a scramble. Mad skills necessary.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 31.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 6,300 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 4,800 ft
  • Pace: 2 mph

Olympia, TBD. 7:30am Friday.

Summer Solstice backpack around Mt. St. Helens.

I (Meryl) solo'd this last September and am trying it out as a Mountaineers activity on a group of experienced folx.

Fri, June 21.

7:45am leave Oly. Arrive Climber’s Bivouac 11:45. Hike 10mi, first north then west, to South Fork Toutle River by 7:30pm. Camp above Toutle washout. Forest, meadow, rivers, washouts with rope scrambles, boulder fields with navigation challenges, navigation challenges back to trail after first washout.

Saturday, June 22

7:30 leave camp, get water, ford or cross Toutle River. (Bring change of socks, water shoes if your feet are sensitive with wet boots.) Hike up (NW) Castle Ridge, flat through blast zone (east), up over Windy Pass (SE) with time to see viewpoint, and down to Pumice Butte camp (south). Get water at spring. 11.5mi, mostly unshaded. Meadow, blast zone, stream fording, navigation challenges, exposure over Windy Pass, flat plains.

Sunday, June 23

8am leave camp, hike 11.5mi total – first 6.5mi south/SW/west to June Lake, detour to get water and meet day hiking group. This part includes a 1,000ft elevation gain through forest and meadow, and another cool boulder field. Plan to meet the day group at noon for lunch, water, swim and last 5 easier miles west. Pass Chocolate Falls, enter forest to Climber’s Bivouac turnoff. Done by 5pm. Meal in Kalama.

Bring helmets and belay gloves for ropes on washouts. Bring 2 dinners, 2 lunches, 2 b-fasts, trail snacks, 3L water capacity, trekking poles (a must!!!), plus backpacking gear and 10 essentials. Microspikes TBD.


Participants must be both backpackers and scramblers who have hiked with Delores and Meryl before.  We reserve the right to say no to anyone we haven't - or might not want to - spend 3 days with out in the wild... Seriously though, if we think you may not be able to do it, we will kindly but firmly decline.

This is a great backpack, and I (Meryl) am happy to consult with other backpack leaders on variations, routes, times of year, etc...


Loowit Trail

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Microspikes TBD
  • Trekking poles
  • Helmet!!!
  • Belay gloves
  • Extra shoes for stream fording TBD
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and trowel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports