You are here: Home Find a Hike Hiking Guide Lower Siouxon Creek

Lower Siouxon Creek

» REI » Amazon

A portion of all book sales from the links above benefits WTA and helps protect and maintain our trails.

The history of the area is exemplified by mossy little Hickmans Cabin. It was built in the early 1930s by the firefighters who moved into the area to suppress and battle the fires that frequently plagued the area. The cabin was used as an advance supply hut, and firefighters stored and sharpened their tools and cooked their meals here. The scars of the fires they fought are still visible. Many of the fallen trees rotting along the route were killed by the fires and later toppled over. At the end of the trail is the second Siouxon trailhead. Either arrange for a shuttle vehicle to pick you up here, or simply turn around and retrace your steps to the lower trailhead.

The Lower Siouxon Trail is the first section of the Siouxon Creek Trail; it makes a great day hike and is often ignored by those planning to hike the length of the main trail. This short route parallels the access road and links the upper and lower trailheads.

The route makes a gradual descent for nearly a mile, but doesn't drop all the way down to river level. For the next 2 miles, the trail stays above the south bank of the trail. You may be able to see and hear the river occasionally, but the Lower Siouxon isn't really a river trail. It is, instead, a beautiful forest hike that offers a history lesson. Enjoy the forest for the scenery, the river for the music.
Driving Directions:

From Interstate 5, turn east at Woodland onto State Route 503 and drive about 23 miles, heading south on SR 503 to Chelatchie. Turn left (east) at the country store onto NE Healy Road, which soon becomes Forest Road 54. Drive 9 miles on the road and turn left onto FR 57, then in 1.25 miles turn left onto FR 5701. In less than 1 mile, the road switches back sharply to the right. As you drive out of this corner, look for the first Siouxon trailhead on the left (north) side of the road.

Improve or add to this guidebook entry

Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

Recent Trip Reports

Hiked here recently? Submit a trip report!
There are 14 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Lower Siouxon Creek — Mar 30, 2014 — Tenderfoot
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
Issues: Blowdowns | Water on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
This is a favorite hike of mine. Healy rd, which turns I to road 54 is starting to have issues. Si...
This is a favorite hike of mine. Healy rd, which turns I to road 54 is starting to have issues. Sinkholes are are all over the road. It has been fairly wet out, yet this trail was not too muddy. Waterproof footwear is a must, and I would reccomend a good pair of boots. Several small water crossings.

No parking fee required.

This is just such a great hike, without much elevation gain.
Read full report with photos
Lower Siouxon Creek — Nov 01, 2013 — Ryan Ojerio
Day hike
Expand report text Hide report text
Lola and I saw clear weather in the forecast and we packed up our things to find some old-growth. Ha...
Lola and I saw clear weather in the forecast and we packed up our things to find some old-growth. Having watched a great deal of Dora the Explorer, Lola was all about packing her backpack and consulting the map.

We parked at the lower trailhead and hiked down across the first creek crossing walking carefully across the narrow, tall log bridge. About .5 miles from the lower trailhead we stopped to play at the large camping area near the Siouxon Creek. There are at least three fire rings and lots of tent spaces at this well loved site.

This site would be the perfect 1st backpack for little kids if you just want to get a short distance from the car and test out your gear. The one downside is a steep drop to the creek where the bank is undercut.

Lola was having so much fun exploring around the big logs and ferns, and looking for mushrooms that we didn't go any further. After a snack (and some Halloween candy for a treat) we headed back to the car.

One note on the road condition, its paved, but is slumping in many places forming cracks and sharp ledges that can be hard to see when they're covered with leaves or in poor light.
Read full report with photos
Lower Siouxon Creek, Horseshoe Ridge — Oct 13, 2012 — Steve Jones
Day hike
Features: Fall foliage
Issues: Blowdowns
Expand report text Hide report text
Directions: From Battle Ground, WA, take Hwy 503 North to Chelatchie Prairie. Turn East (right) at ...
Directions:
From Battle Ground, WA, take Hwy 503 North to Chelatchie Prairie. Turn East (right) at the Chelatchie Prairie General Store and gas station, onto NE Healy road. The store is on the northeast corner of Hwy 503 and NE Healy road.

NE Healy road changes into Forest Road 54 after a few miles. Follow this route for about 9 miles from the general store. Look for the “pavement ends sign” and turn left, uphill, on FR 57 After another mile turn left again onto Rd. 5701. The road may be unsigned but it is the junction just past a quarry on the left. Follow this mostly paved road to the trailhead in a little more than 4.9 miles from the junction with FR 57.

Even though the high point on the road is less than 2000 feet in elevation, late winter snow can block this road. This is because after it crosses a ridge, the road is in the shade as it drops down to the trailhead.

Call the Gifford Pinchot National Forest for current information at (360) 891-5000 or visit the Gifford Pinchot Recreation webpage for the road and snopark information.

There are no restrooms at the trailhead. The nearest bathrooms are at the Mt. St. Helens Monument Headquarters in Chelatchie Prairie (Amboy).

Note: No permits are required to park at the trailhead.

Trail:
GPNF Trail 130 and 140.

Trail Maps:
Topo Map - future

Length and Elevation:
10.5 Miles Roundtrip for the loop. Elevation gain totals 3,500 feet. Total gain and loss is 7,000 feet. Highest elevation is 3,345 feet.

Review: October 13, 2012.

From the main trailhead at Siouxon Creek, follow the trail gently downhill to the left for about 100 feet to a junction for the Siouxon Creek trail. As of this review, the trail sign has been shot several times. Turn right at the junction and continue gently downhill. Soon the sounds of a tributary to Siouxon Creek can be heard. The wide, well maintained trail leads to a log bridge over the small creek after about .1 mile. The water of the stream is crystal clear and flows about 10 feet below the single-log bridge.

Soon the trail passes a camping area that is used heavily during the summer by car campers. The trail goes along the creek, through an open second-growth forest. The understory here is mainly ferns and apple clover.

At a junction in about .75 mile, a small trail parallels Siouxon Creek trail for about .2 mile, passes a small campsite, and ends at the junction for the Horseshoe ridge trail.

Turn right and you’ll know you are on the correct trail because as soon as you start, the trail begins climbing steeply away from Siouxon Creek. The first part of the trail is well maintained. Several work parties have cleared deadfalls off the trail during the last few years.

The trail bolts up the hill, like a lightning bolt with short, jagged switchbacks which almost seem vertical. After trudging upwards for more than an hour, you get a short break in the climb as you reach a shoulder on the ridge, but you’re not nearly done with the ascent.

The trail veers to the left and keeps climbing up the ridge, though not quite as steeply as on the lower section. Now at about 4,000 feet, there are a few huckleberries, Oregon grape, salal, and mosses, but not much else. The canopy of the hemlock and the elevation have combined to choke out most of the undergrowth.

After a moderate amount of elevation gain, the trail yet again hits another very steep climb. This hike is a strong workout for your calves, stretching them tight with every step.

After walking about 1.8 miles, the trail passes a rocky promontory that has some views on a clear day. Eventually the trail breaks out to a vista looking south, then continues along the spine of the sawthtooth ridge without the aid of switchbacks.

2 miles from the trailhead, the trail begins to level out but still has some short steep sections and even some short descents. Travel below the ridgeline for a bit, avoiding some of the knobby, worn-down teeth of Horseshoe Ridge. All too soon the trail climbs and crests the ridge again, continuing northwest.


At 2.4 miles, walk past kinnikinnick and a carpet of juniper as you got through a couple of tiny mountainside meadow which have some views to the northeast.

The trail here is not as steep but still climbs gently towards the high point the trail, 2.5 miles from the trailhead at 3,345 feet in elevation. In another .5 mile, cross two more meadows with kinnikinnick, juniper, and short grasses, with views to the northeast. Pay attention along this section because even a small layer of snow on the ground will cover any traces of the sketchy trail in the second meadow. If you are looking for where the trail reenters the woods, look level, or just slightly uphill.

Fog and mist enveloped me as I re-entered the forest and the dank forest felt ominous with trees leaning over the trail with dead branches dangling down about head and shoulder level, like they’re waiting to grab you as you walk through the dim forest. Other trees crouch near the ground, waiting for their chance to trip you, as you try to avoid the grasping branches. Dark ominous roots have crept into the trail from deep in the ground, waiting for their chance to seize your boot as you hurry by in the ever increasing gloominess.

Other branches scrape across your neck as you begin to worry if anyone would ever find you if something happened to you on this spooky trail. Other branches bar you way, hoping to draw a drop of blood as you push by, seeking to find the end of this gloom.

After escaping the clutches of the eerie forest, one last trick has been played. The trail builders built in another 100 feet of gain before beginning a gradual descent.

After dropping down for a bit, pass by a hunting camp, climb a bit, then drop down to an old road. Turn left at the road and walk about 100 feet to where the trail goes back into the woods.

At first the trail descends gradually, crossing a steep slope on a very narrow tread. After about a mile, the trail drops sharply down towards Siouxon Creek. After about .6 mile of sharp descent, the way gets easier and the tread becomes wider. Switchback down to the Siouxon Creek Trail and turn left, heading back towards the trailhead.

Walk a little more than 2 miles, passing Siouxon Creek Falls and Horseshoe Creek Falls, watching out for mountain bikers.

This is a difficult trail with the rapid elevation gain, the many deadfalls that seem to plague this trail, and the sections of narrow tread. This is a great trail for a good workout or conditioning hike. You could go for a dip in the cold Siouxon Creek if hiking this on a hot day.

Happy Halloween

Additional photos at eyehike.com
Link to http://www.eyehike.com/[…]/Horseshoe_Ridge_Photos_WA for more photos!!

Switchback Steve
Read full report with photos
Lower Siouxon Creek — Sep 29, 2011 — Ryan Ojerio
Day hike
Expand report text Hide report text
FS Road 54 which had been closed for repair through Sept. 2011 will be open on Oct. 1st restoring ac...
FS Road 54 which had been closed for repair through Sept. 2011 will be open on Oct. 1st restoring access to the Lower Siouxon trailhead.
Read full report
Lower Siouxon Creek — Sep 01, 2011 — Ryan Ojerio
Day hike
Expand report text Hide report text
Forest Service Road 54 is under construction to repair a landslide that happened a couple years ago....
Forest Service Road 54 is under construction to repair a landslide that happened a couple years ago. A temporary repair was done last year, but it is being fixed proper now and will be closed most likely through the end of September 2011. For more info try calling the Mount St. Helens Monument Headquarters in Amboy at: (360) 449-7800
Read full report
siouxon creek - little feet.jpg
Photo by Little Feet.
Location
Siouxon (#130)
South Cascades -- Indian Heaven / Trapper Creek
Gifford Pinchot National Forest - Mount Adams Ranger District
Statistics
Roundtrip 6.5 miles
Elevation Gain 500 ft
Highest Point 1700 ft
Features
Rivers
User info
Northwest Forest Pass required
Guidebooks & Maps
South Cascades
Green Trails No. 396 Lookout Mountain

Improve or add to this guidebook entry

Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

Map it
Red MarkerLower Siouxon Creek
45.9404666667 -122.229183333
(45.9405, -122.2292) Open in new window
Document Actions
  • Print this
  • Share
Get the Guidebooks

Mountaineers three booksSelect content from The Mountaineers Books' guidebooks is featured in this Hiking Guide. Sales of the books from this website help protect and maintain trails.

> Shop Now

More hikes » Hike of the Week
Columbia Hills State Park (Apr 24)

Columbia Hills State Park

South Cascades

From Dalles Mountain Ranch to Horsethief Butte, the rolling hills along the the Columbia River Gorge are blanketed in spring flowers. Ramble along until you find the perfect picnic spot on more than 12 miles of hiking trails. A meadowlark might even serenade you.

Get Trail News

Subscribe to our free email newsletter for hiking news, events, gear reviews and more.

What's Happening
GiveBIG 2014 May 06, 2014 Donate to WTA during The Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG event and grow your impact on trails!
Hiker Potluck in Vancouver May 28, 2014 Come out for an evening of great food, meet other hikers and learn what is happening on trails near you.
More »