St Helens: Crescent Rock to So. Toutle shortcut

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Chip Down
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Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

St Helens: Crescent Rock to So. Toutle shortcut

Post by Chip Down » September 29th, 2018, 8:06 pm

If you want to hike from Cescent Rock to the South Toutle crossing on the Loowit Trail (or vice versa), it's only a couple miles or so. But it looked to me like there was a more scenic route. I decided to do it from the bottom up, so hiked from Blue Lake to the South Toutle crossing. From there, I had to decide whether to follow the canyon bottom along the creek, or the canyon edge. Decided on the latter, but hit a dead end and had to back track a little bit until I could find a place to drop into the canyon bottom. Had to cross the creek, then follow it up, past the first narrow spot I was expecting, then on to a second narrow spot I wasn't expecting. That one turned me back. So then all the way back to where I hit the deadend on the canyon rim, and then away from the canyon on a mossy ridge, then a horrible hour of bushwhacking parallel to the creek, way up high. Hit a high point, and had two options; Drop waaaay down the other side, parallel to the creek, or follow a bare ridge that was perpendicular to the creek. Chose the latter. From the end of that ridge I was able to drop and bushwhack to the edge of one of the Toutle forks, and then followed it up to Crescent Rock. That's an extremely abbreviated synopsis. It was tougher than expected.

Conclusion: Yes, as predicted, there is a direct route that's much more scenic than this section of the Loowit trail. Loowit trail is like the I-5 of MSH: It'll get you there fast, but don't expect the best scenery.
Can't continue up the canyon rim any more. Had to find a way to drop in and cross the creek.
Down at the bottom now, other side of the creek, following it up.
This shut me down. Obviously can't go left, and there was no way I was going to cross that torrent just to see if maybe I could continue up the other side.
A brief clearing on my bushwhack.
The ridge that finally lifted my spirits after a miserable filthy bushwhack.
Some schwacking and elevation loss would get me down to that canyon edge.
Best part of the day? Wish I'd rested in the green patch; last good opportunity for a long time.
Not long for this world.
Another one just barely hanging on.
Dammit, I'm getting rain in my beer! Not the first time, won't be the last. Chilly and windy. Not too bad though, better than hot and sunny.

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