The loowit trail Circumnavigates Mt. St. Helens in Washington state. If you’re reading this I imagine you are planning on running or hiking the trail so i’ll skip the story and just give you the facts.
I left from the Climbers Bivouac on May 30 at 0700 and went clockwise around the mountain. This was a bad starting point because the trail ended with a brutal 800 ft climb from June lake to the bivouac trailhead. Starting at 0700 wasn’t a problem because Washington doesn’t get dark until around 2100 in the summer.
I would recommend leaving June lake and going clockwise, this way you start with the killer hill and lava rock scrambling to get it out of the way and finish with a nice forest run. Also, you’ll cross the south Toutle River early in the run.
Here is a quick summary of the run:
June lake to Butte Camp – Steep hill climb through woods then all scrambling over lava rock. Trail is marked with wooden posts. I still managed to get lost for a bit here.
Butte camp to sheep canyon – some forest trails and open fields. I saw an elk here. One of the nicer areas to spread out the legs.
South Toutle Crossing – Crossing this sucker that features a river crossing and shitty uphill, sandy, switchback run.
Pumice Plain – nice flat fields
North Toutle River – A rocky and sandy run crossing with some water. I ran this during a drought and had no problem crossing these streams.
Windy Pass – The second major climb, this one was the most enjoyable due to the view.
Plains of Abraham – I think this is the right picture. It was around here that I drank from the streams.
To June lake – A bunch of shitty mud river crossings and some scrambling again before getting to the nice wooded trail run finish
Stats and logistics:
I got lost twice and tacked on a few hundred meters, total milage was 31.76 miles.
Climb: 8,000 ft.
I wore my Salomon hydration vest with a full bladder and 2 bottles of water. For food I brought a bag of trail mix which I didn’t finish because I ran out of water. There are plenty of streams on the east side of the mountain and I drank without purifying the water.
For people not training to “run on fat” I would recommend bringing more food. I probably could have shaved 30-40 minutes off my time had I brought some gels to keep my energy levels up.
To finish off the day I jumped in Yale
Got any questions let me know