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Trip Report

Toutle Trail - Blue Lake to Loowit Trail — Friday, Aug. 1, 2014

South Cascades

Trip Report By

Type of Hike


Trail Conditions

Trail in good condition


Road suitable for all vehicles


No bugs


Snow free
Fantastic overnight backpacking trek with my 19 year old son (his first). The scenery was beautiful. We ran into no problems and had the trail almost to ourselves. We ran into a small scout troop camping out at Blue Lake as we were connecting to the trailhead there, but after that, we saw a small family with two dogs and then.....NOBODY YAY! FYI, the trailhead can be a bit hard to find but if you scout out the creek running from the lake on the left, you will see a skinny log that crosses the creek and that is how you get to the trailhead. After about 4 miles, we camped out at a great campsite right at the Toutle creek junction. This campsite had good shelter, an established fire-pit, logs for sitting, plenty of space for multiple tents, and was right beside the creek. It was just a short walk down to the bridge to get some amazing snapshots of the sunset turning Mt. St. Helens a lavender pink. Definitely a good hike for beginner backpackers and those who plan to move onto the Loowit and beyond. Just make sure that if you are moving on farther you definitely fill up water supplies (filter filter filter) as the trail gets very hot, dry and exposed about 2 miles on up the sheep's canyon trail. FYI for a short overnighter, I recommend combining this trip with a short stop-over at Goat Marsh Lake Loop Hike on your drive out. Its just down the road from the Blue Lake parking area and only a 1.5 mile add on and entirely flat. On a clear day the reflection of the Mountain on the marsh is beautiful and a good photo point.