Just south of Mt. St. Helens on the other side of the Swift Creek Reservoir lies Siouxon Peak within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Like many peaks in the area (with the exception of St. Helens), Siouxon (rhymes with Tucson) is characterized by thick forests blanketing the flanks with a small bare rocky summit affording nice views of the Big Four in the area (Rainier, Adams, Hood and St. Helens).
Siouxon Peak is the site of a former lookout and some of the trail in the area is old jeep roads slowly being reclaimed by the forest. There are three trails one can use to hike up Siouxon and they are a waterfall lovers dream. Many great falls, small and large, dot the Wildcat, Chinook and Siouxon Creeks which run along the trails for a good distance. The standard trail (at least the one that occurs in most guidebooks) runs up the Siouxon Creek to the Chinook Creek then up to an old road and finally to the summit ridge, attaining the summit from the east. Another option splits from the start of the Chinook Trail but goes up the Wildcat Creek drainage past another large waterfall, finally attaining the ridge and the summit from the west. A third trail heads up the west from Huffman Peak. All involve a long day and 16-18 miles round trip with at least 3700 feet of gain and at least one unbridged stream or creek crossing (not to be taken lightly if not hiking in Summer).
Of note on the Huffman Peak trail if you take that one from a lower trailhead, along the trail is Hickman’s Cabin, which was used by fire prevention forestry workers in the 30’s to store cross cut saws used in making fire breaks. The lookout site on Siouxon was actually rebuilt once but then abandoned when fire prevention began using airplanes.
The area (especially the Siouxon Creek Trail) is popular with mountain bikers so be aware there may be some faster moving people on the track. These mostly peter out once you head up the ridge. All trails are just hikes but all have some steep spots. Beware also of cougars and bears in the area as I came across a freshly scoured deer skeleton with some meat still on it in the middle of the trail near where the Chinook Trail meets the upper road. Aside from that, this is a great peak that offers nice views, amazing waterfalls and a solid workout.
From Portland take I-205 north (or from Seattle, take I-5 south to I-205) to Exit 30 (Orchards exit). Go right (coming from the south) on Highway 500 which becomes Highway 503 through Battle Ground, WA for 26.2 miles (hey you drive a marathon!). There are a few sharp turns in the road through the small town on Amboy, WA. At 26.2 miles from the freeway, which is just past the Mt. St. Helens National Monument Headquarters, turn right onto NE Healy Rd and go 8.8 miles to a fork. Veer uphill (to the left) at the fork onto Road 57 and go 1.1 miles to a pass. Turn left at the pass onto Road 5701 and go 3.5 miles to the parking lot at road's end (the trailhead is just before the end of the road on the left).
CampingThere are a multitude of great camping spots all along the various trails. Every so often they pop up along any trail, most with a ring of stones for a fire and a nice flat surface. Probably the best camping spots are along the Siouxon Creek with great views of the falls. Please follow Leave No Trace policies. No fees to camp, enjoy this area while you can.
Mountain ConditionsWind River Ranger District