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Hummocks Loop

South Cascades > Mount St. Helens
46.2868, -122.2719 Map & Directions
Length
9.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
1800 feet
Highest Point
4200 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Moderate/Hard
The Hummocks Trail on a sunny summer day. Photo by LeBunnyman. Full-size image
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Mountain views
  • Dogs not allowed
  • Ridges/passes

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

Why drive to the top when you can hike? Try this day hike as an introduction to Mount St. Helens for visitors who’ve never been here, or if they haven't been in a long time. Continue reading

Rating
5.00 out of 5

Hiking Hummocks Loop

Try this day hike as an introduction to Mount St. Helens for visitors who’ve never been here, or if they haven't been in a long time. 

Head left from the trailhead and stop at the interpretive signs along the way that describe the formation of the hummocks — large mounds of volcanic rock and gravel. After a shy mile keep left on the Boundary Trail to ascend to Johnston Ridge, hiking three miles to the Loowit Viewpoint and another shy mile to the Johnston Ridge Observatory.

The trail here is exposed, so bring plenty of sun protection and water. The views of the broken mountain and the bare plains surrounding it get more dramatic with every step!

Escape the heat and refill your water bottle in the Observatory, or listen to a presentation by one of the knowledgeable rangers.

On your way back, keep left at the junction with the Hummocks Trail to complete the loop along the North Fork Toutle River, and then through marshlands and young forest back to the parking lot.

Going further: As you see early in your hike, the Hummocks Trail is also the start of the Boundary Trail, stretching to the east for 57 miles to Council Lake in the heart of the South Cascades.

With some advance planning and permits in hand, experienced backpackers can include the Boundary Trail on loop trips of the Loowit Trail around Mount St. Helens itself, or the Lakes Trail through the Mount Margaret Backcountry.

Hike Description Written by
Steven Payne, WTA Correspondent

Hummocks Loop

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.2868, -122.2719 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From points north, drive I-5 south to exit 63 Winlock-Toledo, then WA-505 east to the junction with WA-504 (aka Spirit Lake Highway).

Coming from the south, drive I-5 north to exit 49 Castle Rock, then WA-504 east. From the junction of WA-505/504, continue east on WA-504 29 miles to the Hummocks Trail parking lot on the right (no facilities)

More Hike Details

Trailhead

South Cascades > Mount St. Helens

Hummocks (#229), Boundary (#1)

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Mounument

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Hummocks Loop

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