I’ve been to St. Helens only a few times. This was the second time to the east side, and the first to actually get out on the Loowit Trail that circles the mountain. This is an amazing hike and not that difficult. Or rather, the four miles we did before turning around at the Loowit Falls Canyon wasn’t so bad. The trail starts at the south end of the Windy Ridge parking lot and follows an unpaved research access road for two miles before splitting in different directions in the blast zone.
The wildflowers are out and are the vanguard of life along the trail. Avalanche lilies in the shade, Indian paintbrush, blue gentians, lupines in the sun. Unlike the last time I was here when the clouds were low, the views of Spirit lake, the broken mountain top, and the lava flows all made this hike very worthwhile.
Easy and Amazing