Windy Ridge

Easy (to Windy Ridge Viewpoint)

0.2 mile round trip

200 feet elevation gain

Open late June through October

Moderate (to Loowit Falls)

9.2 miles round trip

900 feet elevation gain

Difficult (to Plains of Abraham)

11.4-mile loop

1400 feet elevation gain

For a close look into the mouth of Mt. St. Helens’ steaming crater, start at the Windy Ridge parking area. A staircase climbs 200 feet to a popular viewpoint, but longer trails lead right up to the crater’s outlet—a badlands chasm below 200-foot Loowit Falls. A trail planned for 2015 will climb to an even closer viewpoint above Loowit Falls. Hikers are not allowed to explore off trail.

To find the trailhead, drive Interstate …

This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Northwest Oregon & Southwest Washington.