Blue Lake: Toutle Tr238

3D view of Blue Lake Toutle Trail #238

Overall: 6

Aerobic: 7

Technical: 6

Steepness: 6

Flow: 6

Singletrack: 100%

Toutle Tr238 is the primary trail, creating loop options with Blue Lake Horse Tr237, or when bikes are permitted then use Sheep Canyon Tr240, Loowit Tr216 and Butte Camp Tr238A.




Avg: 12mi



Elevation Change

Avg Ascent:2300'

Ascent Incline



Avg: 3hr






XC Skiing

Portions of Toutle Tr238 are suitable for skiing and the nearby FR83 Marble Mountain Sno-Park has a well developed XC Ski trail system.

Area Sno-Parks

Marble Mountain Sno-Park ski trails include: 8300 Trail, 8312 Trail, June Lake Ski Tr216B, Pine Martin Ski Tr245E, Sasquatch Ski Loops #236, #236A, #236B, Swift Ski Tr244, #244A, #244B, #244C, and the Wapiti Ski Loops #245A, #245B, #245C, #245D, #245G

This outer trail loop is sometimes closed to biking and the status is posted at the TH.

A figure 8 loop using Toutle Tr238, Blue Lake Horse Tr237 and a small section of FR81 is 12mi with a total climb of 2275'.

The Toutle Tr238 to Sheep Canyon Tr240 to Loowit Tr216 to Butte Camp Tr238A lollipop loop is 13mi, with 3500' ascent and a 15% incline on the Loowit Tr216 section.

There is also a short but fun connector trail between Toutle Tr238 and Blue Lake Horse Tr237, which must be ridden from the Blue Lake TH due to ankle-deep pumice gravel.

Toutle Tr238 continues south to the Kalama Horse camp and that is also worth checking out. A shuttle might be better for that ride, or climb back to the TH on FR81.

Plenty of hiking opportunities on the southern flanks of Saint Helens, with St Helens Climbing Route Tr216H and Ptarmigan Tr216A for the more adventuresome.

Ape Cave is popular with day hikers and families. The .75mi Lower Cave takes about one hour round-trip to complete, with interesting features such as the meatball and railroad tracks.

The meatball is cooled lava which fell from the lava tube ceiling while lava was still flowing and the railroad tracks are formations along the side of the once-flowing lava.

The 1.5mi Upper Cave is more challenging, climbing over 27 boulder piles and an 8-foot (2.5m) high lava fall, exiting through a metal ladder then returning on Ape Cave Tr239.

Directions: See Map. SR503E to FR83N to FR8303W to FR81. View Larger Map. No Map?.

Blue Lake, Kalama Ski, Butte Camp, Sheep Canyon, Loowit and Toutle Trail #238 Topo Map

Loop Directions

deep pumice gravel

Blue Lake Area Topo Map

  • TH: Go north from the Red Rock Pass TH, through the boulder field and cross several creeks.
  • 1.1mi: Pass the Butte Camp Tr238A intersection, then pass Butte Camp Dome.
  • 2.8mi: Pass the Blue Lake Horse Tr237 intersection, then pass another connector on the right before reaching the FR8123 TH at 3.2mi. Head north to Blue Lake and then to the northern Blue Lake Horse Tr237 TH.
  • 5.2mi: Go right onto Blue Lake Horse Tr237, headed east then south as the trail crosses several streams which feed Blue Lake.
  • 7.9mi: Cross the Blue Lake Tr238 intersection and continue south. Rather than riding to FR81, there is an option to go left and then take Kalama Ski Tr231 back to the Red Rock Pass TH. There are many smaller trails in this area, but be careful that what appears to be a trail is not instead a drainage wash, full of tire-sucking, 6" thick gravel.
  • 10mi: Reach FR81 and go left back to the TH.



Best Area Guide

Trail Index

This Ride

Blue Lake Horse Trail 237, Butte Camp Trail 238A, Loowit Trail 216, Sheep Canyon Trail 240, Toutle Trail 238


Ape Canyon Trail 234, Blue Lake Wild Gravel, Kalama River Trail, Lava Canyon Trail 184, Smith Creek Trail 225


Ape Cave Trail 239, Castle Lake Trail 221, Castle Ridge Trail 216G, Goat Marsh/Mountain Trail 231D, Loowit Trail 216, Pine Creek Tr216C, Ptarmigan Trail 216A, St Helens Climbing Route Trail 216H

XC Ski

Kalama Ski Trail 231, Sasquatch Ski Loops Trail 236, Swift Ski Trail 244, Wapiti Ski Loops Trail 245, West Fork Snowmobile Trail 243


Trail Rankings

Ranking consistently applied to all of the listed trails.

  • Overall Rating: Ride quality and challenge
  • Aerobic: Ascent challenge
  • Technical Difficulty: Terrain challenge
  • Steepness: Average incline
  • Flow: Uninterrupted riding
  • Elevation Change: Total elevation gain
  • Ride Difficulty: Terrain challenge






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