I like to take the trail from Red Rock pass, although there are other ways into the trail system.
The trail branches from Toutle Trail 238 at 1.3 miles from Red Rock Pass. Begin by crossing a 1,900-year-old lava flow that is covered with huckleberries when in season. A short (1/8-mile) climb up the trail will reward you with a view of Mount St. Helens. The trail climbs gradually to Lower Butte Camp, an inviting meadow with water and wildflowers which offers good camping. It then climbs in a series of switchbacks to Upper Butte Camp. An open hillside in this segment provides vistas to the south and east. Upper Butte Camp is not really a camp but a sensitive research area. Continue upslope to the junction with Loowit Trail 216 where Mount St. Helens awaits. There are a number of geological features and changes as we hike along the trail. It's an amazing, diverse landscape that you will enjoy very much.