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Chinook Trail (and Wildcat Loop Option)
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Chinook Trail (and Wildcat Loop Option)

 
Chinook Trail (and Wildcat Loop Option)

Page Type: Route

Location: Washington, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 45.99250°N / 122.12944°W

Object Title: Chinook Trail (and Wildcat Loop Option)

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Summer, Fall

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Walk-up

Route Quality: 
 - 1 Votes
 

 

Page By: Brian Jenkins

Created/Edited: Nov 7, 2007 / Nov 7, 2007

Object ID: 354123

Hits: 2198 

Page Score: 74.01%  - 4 Votes 

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Overview

A great hike that will get you at least 3700 feet (over 5000 in some instances) over 16-19 miles roundtrip. You'll pass at least 5 or 6 nice waterfalls and enjoy summit views from old lookout sites on the top of Siouxon Peak. Plan for a long day and take a headlamp just in case.

Getting There

See the Getting There section of the main page for directions to the trailhead.

Route Description

There are a few option when hiking Siouxon Peak. The Chinook Trail starts at the trailhead at 1350 feet and takes a right once you hike down form the parking lot into the trail. This goes .9 miles to a junction on the right with the Horseshoe Ridge Loop (ignore this, it's a viewless loop into the woods). hike another 2.1 miles past many a lovely waterfall on the left to where the Horseshoe Ridge Loop comes back in on the right. Hike another .7 miles to the bridge that crosses the Siouxon Creek on your left. Just after crossing this bridge you will come to the impressive Chinook Waterfall. You'll have to cross the stream here (you can either ford it or throw rocks into piles to step on as you cross) and this can be deep in high water.

After you cross the stream at the falls, hike another .9 miles to a junction with the Wildcat Trail. You can take either option, it's probably a little shorter to take the Wildcat Trail to the left to the summit and you will pass impressive Wildcat Falls on that trail. Or you can take the right fork and proceed up 2.1 miles on the Chinook Trail. This route is fairly viewless and steep at first but then levels off about 2500 feet traveling through old growth cedar before it changes to an old jeep road slowly being reclaimed by the forest. Stay on the road for 1.7 more miles to where it "T's" at an actual road end. Turn left and go a few dozen yards to where the road ends and it becomes a trail again. Views of St. Helens here.

Follow this trail a couple miles or so as it shortly heads back into the forest and then on up to the summit ridge. Just before the summit, the trail branches and take the left branch and hike/scramble on up the open bare slopes to the summit.

You can either descend the same way, take the Wildcat Loop down (head down the ridge to the west from the summit until it ends, smell the abundant elk in the area, and then head right (north) off trail down the slope until you come back to the trail. Turn left on to the trail and follow it to the signed junction (3.6 miles from where you "T'ed" at the road before) for the Wildcat Trail. Turn left here and climb before descending back to the aforementioned junction.

You also have the option of continuing on the trail down the ridge west traversing around Huffman Peak (stay left at the one unmarked fork on the ridge before descending) and on down 5.6 miles to the Siouxon Creek where you will have to wade across the creek (unpassable in high water, make sure you know the level of water in the creek), then hike back up the trail to another T, take a left and head back 1.9 miles to the trailhead.

Essential Gear

Might want to add some sandals or water shoes for one or two creek crossings. Headlamp is a good idea as this one can take all day.

External Links

Add External Links text here.

Images

Hiking up to the summit ridge