Loowit Falls and a journey across the plains: 6-7-14

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Sean Thomas
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Loowit Falls and a journey across the plains: 6-7-14

Post by Sean Thomas » June 9th, 2014, 8:58 pm

Joie and I had an awesome time hiking across the pumice plains to Loowit Falls on Saturday. We started at Johnston Ridge pretty early so I would have time to limp to the falls and back :lol: Actually we both felt really good and had one of the most enjoyable hikes we've ever had in the monument with a nice long lunch at Loowit Falls. But first! The area always looks so cool driving in before dawn. The back country from 504:


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The arch too!


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The plains between us and the mountain were invisible as we headed out on the Boundary Trail:


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A close up of the ever changing lava dome:


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And a cool time lapse courtesy of USGS that illustrates its constant change:





Not too long after we hit the Truman Trail and started heading for the plains we heard the familiar call of a grouse. It was standing proud perched on a rock just off the trail. I think it's a male Sooty Grouse:


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Sounds like what used to just be called a "blue grouse" was split into two species back in 2006, the Sooty and the Dusky Grouse:


http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/researc ... sky_sooty/


He was a striking fellow:


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Now to the plains and a little running even though I was told not too :D


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Crazy to see the impact water has on the landscape out there:


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Joie heading straight for the mountain:


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The green appearance of these little pools just west of the mighty Spirit Lake is hard to take your eyes off of:


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Here is Jojo pointing to our goal for the day, a waterfall coming out of a mountain!?!


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Lets take a closer look:


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The paintbrush gets to look all season(Jo is in the middle of the pic)


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And the Partridge Foot, first I've seen blooming this year :)


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After hiking the Truman Trail for a few miles we turned onto the Willow Springs Trail to connect over to the Loowit and the spur to the falls. Pretty soon we were at the viewpoint for the falls and its rock fall ridden canyon:


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Zoom on the top of the falls:


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The falls was really awesome to see in person and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in making the trip. After a long lunch we started back down for the Loowit and a little lollipop loop to spice things up a bit. Spirit Lake was looking sharp:


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And the pussy paws too:


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We followed the Loowit clockwise for a short ways to the Windy Trail and eventually back to the Truman Trail. Some afternoon clouds began to surround the crater rim as we hiked along:


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Mt Adams peeked out as well proving we were still on earth:


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And Spirit Lake again :)


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The clouds were really enticing to watch so we stopped for second lunch :D


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It was just amazing to watch out there! Here is a look for anyone curious on the conditions at Windy Pass:


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We ran into a few locals taking a swim in one of the streams that comes off the Forsyth Glacier and dumps into Spirit Lake:


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One more parting shot on the way back after another amazing adventure in the Columbia River Gor... err i mean monument ;) thanks for reading.


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BrianEdwards
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Re: Loowit Falls and a journey across the plains: 6-7-14

Post by BrianEdwards » June 10th, 2014, 4:25 am

Another great Sean and Jojo outing. Nice photos. The area around Loowit looks pretty loose and unstable, you guys got pretty close though. Nice work.
Clackamas River Waterfall Project - 95 Documented, 18 to go.

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RobinB
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Re: Loowit Falls and a journey across the plains: 6-7-14

Post by RobinB » June 10th, 2014, 11:20 am

Great TR - that trail just shot way up my short list. Also, I'm amazed that you can walk after last week :)

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-Q-
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Re: Loowit Falls and a journey across the plains: 6-7-14

Post by -Q- » June 10th, 2014, 3:18 pm

Nice job guys!!

Definetly one of my favorite hikes in the Monument.

Thanks so much for the update pic on Windy Pass.
Saw a huge herd of goats there last year (at least 20 animals strong).

The Monument rules supreme :P

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kepPNW
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Re: Loowit Falls and a journey across the plains: 6-7-14

Post by kepPNW » June 11th, 2014, 2:39 pm

I keep forgetting about that loop, and now seems like the perfect time to do it! I've come at Loowit Falls from Ape Canyon, and wandered a ways out on onto the plains (about to the site of Harry's lodge) once while burning daylight at the end of a longer hike, but haven't looped that whole plain. Must do! :)

Loved the cloud shots! How incredible to be there for that. And I always marvel at the color of those pools, as well. Thanks for the bump on this one! :)
Karl
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Rustygoat
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Re: Loowit Falls and a journey across the plains: 6-7-14

Post by Rustygoat » June 11th, 2014, 7:10 pm

Very nice! I haven't done any hiking on the north side of Mt. St. Helens yet, but that fall looks like a pretty good reason to get up there. Nice report as usual Sean, thanks for sharing. :)
Tim

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Roy
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Re: Loowit Falls and a journey across the plains: 6-7-14

Post by Roy » June 12th, 2014, 8:47 am

Nice tr Sean The monument is fun I never seem to get tired of hiking up there.
The downhill of the mind is harder than the uphill of the body. - Yuichiro Miura

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Sean Thomas
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Re: Loowit Falls and a journey across the plains: 6-7-14

Post by Sean Thomas » June 13th, 2014, 3:51 am

Thanks guys! It was a perfect way to spend a sunny Saturday. I was also surprised to be walking :lol:


Karl, that sounds like an awesome day(and a long one too!) coming from over Ape Canyon. But that gets the plains of Abe in there too and some of that old growth going up to Ape Canyon, actually your idea sounds like it would be hard to beat in terms of seeing a little bit of everything out there :)


The goats seem to really love it on the east side of St Helens and the area around Pumice Butte.

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kepPNW
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Re: Loowit Falls and a journey across the plains: 6-7-14

Post by kepPNW » June 13th, 2014, 6:38 am

Sean Thomas wrote:Karl, that sounds like an awesome day(and a long one too!) coming from over Ape Canyon. But that gets the plains of Abe in there too and some of that old growth going up to Ape Canyon, actually your idea sounds like it would be hard to beat in terms of seeing a little bit of everything out there :)

The goats seem to really love it on the east side of St Helens and the area around Pumice Butte.
Still haven't seen the goats up there, but there always seem to be marmots near where Ape Canyon trail hits Loowit. That day was definitely an epic adventure, though a bit late in the summer for many of the wild flowers. Now seems to be prime!
Karl
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