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Toutle Trail - Red Rock Pass to Blue Lake Trailhead

South Cascades

Location

South Cascades -- Mount St. Helens
View map below

Length

3.3 miles, one-way

Elevation

Gain: 280 ft.
Highest Point: 3400 ft.

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This middle section of the Toutle Trail starts at Forest Road 81 on the north side of Red Rock Pass. Begin heading north, traversing a black basalt rock field laid down 1900 years ago when a lava event flooded the south side of Mount St. Helens, creating Ape Cave and spreading farther down to the Lewis River. 

After crossing the well-constructed lava field trail you enter another old-growth fir forest. The elevation gain is gradual and hiking is easy to moderate. More trails cross or originate off this section: Butte Camp Trail (#238A), and Kalama Ski Trail (#231). 

At mile 3 you'll arrive at a 30-feet deep ravine and a dry lahar debris gulch. This ash, pumice and rock-filled chasm crossing is not marked since it changes each spring. Look for footprints if uncertain. Descend into the ravine, walk upstream on the dry pumice for about 150 yards, and find a makeshift trail leading up the west side. 

Once on top of the ravine edge, head northwest along the trail. Pass through the junction with the Blue Lake Horse Trail then go 0.2 mile more to another junction. This is a good turnaround point or you can turn left (south) here and follow this spur trail for another 0.2 mile to the Blue Lake Trailhead if you've arranged a car shuttle.

You can also continue hiking on the Toutle Trail from Blue Lake to the Loowit Trail

 

Toutle Trail - Red Rock Pass to Blue Lake Trailhead

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.1436, -122.2349 Open map in new window

Trailhead

South Cascades -- Mount St. Helens

toutle (#238)

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking South Cascades (Dan Nelson - Mountaineers Books)

Buy the Green Trails Mount St. Helens NVM No. 332S map

Getting There

From the town of Cougar head east on Highway 503 for 6.5 miles, then turn left onto Forest Road 83. After 3.0 miles on FR 83, turn left onto Forest Road 81 for 2.9 miles until arriving at the trailhead on the right. Enough space for about a dozen cars.

 

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Toutle Trail - Red Rock Pass to Blue Lake Trailhead

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