Backpacking the Siouxon

Sioxion Trail

When my husband asks me what I want to do for my birthday, I almost always say backpacking. I grew up hiking and camping with my family almost every summer and while sometimes it seemed I wasn’t enjoying myself, looking back, those are my fondest memories.

My husband and I are just now getting back into it. I prefer backpacking and primitive camping compared to car camping.

We came across the Siouxon a few years ago when I was looking around the local area for new spots. Amboy and Chelatchie Prairie were always towns that we drove through to get to the lakes and Mt. St Helens, but we had never really looked around. Well I hadn’t, my husband grew up in that area and know most of it. However, this trail eluded him as well.

Directions from the forestry website:

“From Amboy, WA continue north on State Route 503 for about 4 miles. In Chelatchie, WA pass Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument Headquarters on your left then turn right on NE Healy Road/Forest Road 54. Continue on Forest Road 54 for about 9 miles and take a left on Forest Road 57.  Drive roughly 1 mile to the gravel pit on the right hand side of the road, take a sharp left onto Forest Road 5701. There are two access points on Forest Road 5701 for the Siouxon Trail. The first access point at mile marker 1 at the hairpin corner in the road is intended for horse trailers (park on the pullout on outer edge of corner); the second access point, Siouxon Trailhead, is roughly another 3 miles at the end of the narrow, rough, mostly paved road and does not accommodate horse trailers.

Note: Although mostly paved, Forest Roads 54, 57, and 5701 can be rough. Pay close attention to mileages to be able to navigate in the event of damaged or missing road signs.  Please drive carefully. ”

The trail passes by 5 major water falls with gorgeous green and blue splash pools. There are other falls along the trail and the whole way is covered in the canopy of old growth trees. If you are looking for a backpack adventure, there are fire rings and primitive sites throughout the entire trail. Mid summer usually brings a burn ban due to the dryness, but the temperatures usually don’t drop low enough to need one. There is a hidden campsite at the bottom of Canyon Creek falls that we absolutely love. Not only is it mostly secluded, you have one of the larger falls emptying into the Siouxion creek and it forms a peninsula perfect for a few tents.

We setup camp the first day and enjoyed some of the many bladders of wine we hiked in. We had our water purifiers, so we knew that it was safe to fill all of our usual carrying devices with wine. It was my friend and I’s birthday after all. The following day we continued a majority of the trails and had lunch at 14 Mile Falls. It’s not really 14 miles down the trail, more like 4. The main picture of this post is that fall. Perfect rocky area to sit, enjoy some grub, and hang out with some amazing friends.

We stayed one more night and hiked out the next morning. Warning, the hill out is a doozy! I had a shaky knee and it had some issues, but I did it.

This place is hands down one of my favorite places to spend the weekend.


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