South Coldwater Ridge

Trip

Day Hike - South Coldwater Ridge

Experience the impact of the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens by hiking through the blast zone, onto a ridge with logging equipment relics, a spectacular view of the mountain and a lunch spot with a panoramic view of Coldwater Lake, continuing down to the north end of the lake and a rest stop and possible swim at a sandy beach, then completing the loop around the lake to the trailhead, where we finish with a short car shuttle.

Info
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: 9.7 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,380 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 4,000 ft
  • Pace: 2.0 mph

Meet at 9 AM at the Coldwater Lake Boat Launch parking lot, reached by taking Exit 63 eastbound from I-5, onto SR 505 through Toledo to its T junction with SR 504, where you turn left and continue to the left turn into the Coldwater Lake parking lots.  Continue around the loop to the second parking lot, by the boat launch.  A Northwest Forest Pass, or the equivalent, must be displayed by each car parked there and at the South Coldwater Ridge trailhead parking lot.

This is a loop hike with a car shuttle.  At the Coldwater Lake Boat Lauch parking lot we will use the nice restrooms located there and then caravan in half our cars to the nearby trailhead for the South Coldwater Ridege hike, leaving the other cars at the meeting place for the car shuttle at the end of the hike.  Withcooperative weather, this hike has multiple attractions:  1.  a spectacular view of Mt. St. Helens from the ridge top, 2. several relics of logging equipment destroyed by the eruption, 3. a lunch stop with a panoramic view of Coldwater Lake, 4. a rest stop at a sandy beach at the north end of the lake providing swimming opportunities, 5.  passing a beaver pond and 6. finishing on a lakeside trail with continuous views of the lake  and 7. observing the impact of the eruption throughout the hike.

After the hike, we will have time to drive to the Johnston Ridge Observatory to see exhibits and presentations there before they close at 6 PM.  Entrance to the Observatory requires presenting a Northwest Forest Pass or National Park Pass for each four people, but no pass need be displayed by cars parked in the parking lot there.  On the drive home we will have an optional dinner stop at the Fire Mountain Grill, which received good reviews from a prior hiking group stopping there.

If you participate in all the above activities, plan to arrive home late in the evening.

 

  

Route/Place

South Coldwater Ridge



  • Green Trails Spirit Lake No. 332

    Green Trails Mount St Helens NVM No. 332S

    Trails Illustrated Mt Saint. Helens/Mount Adams
  • See full route/place details.
Roster
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