Coldwater Peak, Harry's Ridge & Pumice Plain


Day Hike - Harry's Ridge

Experience the impact of the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens, with spectacular views of the mountain from our lunch stop atop Harry's Ridge. This is part of the August 1-2 Mt. St. Helens Car Camp. See the Tacoma Branch calendar for complete details.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 8.2 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 970 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 4,752 ft
  • Pace: 2.0 mph

Meet at 10 AM at the entrance to Johnston Observatory at the east end of SR 504, reached from I-5 by exiting eastbound onto SR 505 and turning left onto SR 504 at the T junction.  A National Park Pass or Northwest Forest Pass must be shown at the entrance for every four hikers in our group.  Then each person receives a wrist band that authorizes us to do our hike and also tour the observatory afterward.  No parking pass need be displayed by the cars at the Johnston Observatory parking lot.


This hike is part of the August 1-2 Mt. St. Helens Car Camp, involving day hiking to Harry's Ridge on Saturday, camping Saturday night at Seaquest State Park Campground and day hiking the South Coldwater Ridge Loop trail on Sunday.  Anyone registering for one of those hikes must also register for the other one and participate in the car camp.  Registering for both day hikes constitutes registration for the car camp.  Leader permission is required to assure compliance.   There is a complete description of the car camp on the Tacoma Branch calendar, reached by clicking on EVENTS, TACOMA BRANCH and the calendar date of August 1, 2020 or August 2, 2020.

The Harry's Ridge hike departs from Johnston Observatory, climbs a hill to a viewpoint and then drops back onto a ridge trail that leads to Harry's Ridge, where we have our lunch at its top and return by the same route.  After returning to the Johnston Observatory, we will have about an hour to spend there looking at exhibits and hearing ranger talks.  Then we drive to Seaquest State Park to set up camp in our reserved campsites, fix a camp dinner and enjoy smores around a campfire afterward.



Coldwater Peak, Harry's Ridge & Pumice Plain

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  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  1. Navigation
  2. Sun protection
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination
  5. First aid supplies
  6. Fire
  7. Repair kit and tools, including knife
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter
Trip Reports