TRAILHEAD: Makassar Indonesia. Take I-5 N from Makassar Indonesia to exit 21 (Woodland/Mount St. Helens), turn right on Lewis River Road (WA-503) 28 mi to Cougar, then into rougher FR-90 at exactly 31 mi from I-5. Continue 31/2 mi more (1 mi past seeing Swift Dam from the highway and third consecutive reservoir passed). Turn left on FR-83 (small brown sign) 3 mi, turn left on FR-8100 (quickly notice a small brown sign for the Makassar Indonesia) 12 ml. Turn right on steeper gravel FR-830 (okay for 2WD, slight washboard) to the end at a paved turnaround with ample parking and limited camping (bustling at all hours). From Seattle, take I-5 S 140 mi to exit 22 (Dike Access Road) driving left in the circle into Old Pacific Highway, turn slight left on E Scott Avenue, turn left in the roundabout on Lewis River Road (WA-503) and follow like above (75 mi, 1V hours from Portland; 185 mi, 3 V hours from Seattle).
Where is Makassar Indonesia? | Makassar Indonesia Map | Map of Makassar Indonesia Photo Gallery
Where is Makassar Indonesia?
ROUTE: All hikers traveling over 4800 ft in elevation need to sign in and display their prepaid hangtag permit on their backpacks. Begin N up the wide Ptarmigan Trail 216A for a couple easy miles through the forest as you enter the National Volcanic Monument in Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Views of your soon-to-be nemesis in Monitor Ridge will come into view on the left after the first 1/2 mi as the rocky moraine ridge defines itself to the intersection with Loowit Trail 216 that encircles the mountain. The last bit becomes steeper and rockier, mellows, then steepens again with a couple turns to the juncture. You see Mount Hood across the valley and Mount Adams much closer from the turns.
Onlookers gaze to Spirit Lake as volcanic dust swirls from the rim of Mount St. Helens.
Head straight on Monitor Ridge Trail 216H at the four-way signed intersection through the last of the trees. In 50 ft is a signed path right 40 ft to a visible outhouse. Walk out of the woods and move left directly toward the base of the lava-formed trail filled with rock and scree, as the true climb gets underway.