Current Conditions on St. Helens
On this page I'll post current conditions for the run. Please e-mail me your info if you do the run and have information to add that other runners may find useful. E-mail to
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The route was passable all the way around. We picked to run counter clockwise direction starting and finising at June Lake parking lot. This was my first time so I don't have previous trips as a reference. There are places where the trail is unclear or misleading. On the north side especially be careful going through gullies that you pick up where the trail is going before committing to one direction or another. On the south side, there is a misleading cairn crossing the winter climbing route that we took to be marked for Loowit, but is really not so we had to reclimb some elevation. Thankfully as we were going down it there was a ski trail sign that caused us to give pause about the route. In some of the places where the trail is not worn into the ground there are some pink flagging ribbons to show the way.
Going down to the Toutle River was fairly interesting plunging through the scree but it is clear where to go. Comparing my gps track to the trail maps, it looks like this now goes down the Toutle Trail, ford the river, then some pink-flagged bushwacking to reconnect to the Loowit on a good climb up through the forest; we were accompanied by biting flies.
There were some small snow patch crossings but none that were too daunting. Some of the creek crossing were a bit exciting with knee deep water. Compared to the Portland Hiker report with pictures, the water seemed to be higher now, not lower and perhaps more frequent. There were plenty of chances to pump/filter water, we each went through about 2 gallons of water total on the 2nd hottest day of the year. GPS indicated a total distance starting/finishing from June Lake parking lot of 31.6 miles, and we had to do about 3/4 mile extra due to going off route a couple times.
I hiked the round the mountain trail for about 2 miles east from the climber's trail. No washouts at all, and I wouldn't expect any further east. There were still 6-foot drifts/snowpack at 6200-6400 feet and some bare spots, especially further east through the lava field and toward the boundary of the Yakama reservation. The snow was melting incredibly fast. A picnic table emerged from the snow during my 24 hours in the Cold Springs campground...
Back to the RTM trail, it was somewhat difficult to navigate over the snow, but following the wilderness boundary flags set out for snowmobilers made it easier. And the snowmobiles seemed to follow the boundary and go mostly down from that point. I expect that once it's melted out the trail will be in good shape.
NOTE: This page contains running information for experienced ultra runners. Experience ultra runners are people who have already completed 50K, 50Mile or longer ultramarathons. The advice on this page is not directed towards hikers or typical 10k recreational runners. No guarantee is made about the accuracy of maps or information on this page. This page is only intended as a starting point for your own research on places to run. Always check route information yourself and be prepared.