The Legend of Loowit

Once upon a time, Loowit (Mt. St. Helens), Pahtoe (Mt. Adams) and Wy’East (Mt. Hood) all enjoyed the favor of Great Spirit. Loowit, the beautiful maiden, could not choose between quarrelsome braves Pahtoe and Wy’East. Great Spirit was angered when the two young braves destroyed the land in their struggle for Loowit’s affections. Thus, Great Spirit destroyed the Bridge of the Gods that connected both sides of the Columbia River and struck down the trio of quarrelers. Mountainous volcanos now mark where each lay. Loowit, Loowitlatkla and Louwala-Clough are among a number of names meaning “smoking” or “fire mountain” by which the Pacific Northwest’s First Nation peoples called our beloved namesake volcano.