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Trip Report    

Loowit Trail

  • Tue, May 19, 2015
  • Loowit Trail
  • Backpacking

Trip dates: 5/16/15 - 5/17/15

We traveled clockwise, starting/ending at the June Lake TH. The trail between the climbers' bivouac trail junction and Sheep Canyon trail junction can be quite challenging. There were often long stretches of lava boulder hopping which slowed our progress considerably. We waded across the S. Fork Toutle River (the first and only water we encountered on the Loowit all day) around 7 p.m. We filled our water bladders and climbed the crumbling cliffs to the mossy benches just north of the river and made camp.

On day 2, we continued through the blast zone, saw an elk, had views of Rainier, Adams, and Hood. The trail is much easier, but not always well-marked. And even though the topo looks more or less flat in areas, be warned that there is a lot of up and down, in and out of river washes. We encountered water in the blast zone, and then only once about a mile north of the Ape Canyon Trail. The trail at the Muddy Canyon area is very washed out. You should be comfortable sidehilling on crumbling pumice/ash with serious exposure if you attempt this section of the trail.

Day 1: 13.6 miles, 3600' elevation gain, 8 1/2 hours
Day 2: 18 miles, 3600' elevation gain, 10 hours