Deadmans Lake

A 17 mile out-and-back hike with 1,900 feet of elevation gain or a 20 mile loop backpack with 3,300 feet of elevation gain. The trail starts in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, just north of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument zone. It passes 150-foot Leona Falls and skirts Vanson Peak on the way to the tree-shaded campsites and sandy beach, mostly pumice deposited by the eruption, at Deadman's Lake.

on the trail

This route takes you toward the less-traveled northern edge of the Mount Saint Helens devastation zone. It features Mt St Helen’s best and tallest waterfall, lush green forests, fabulous ridge views of Mt St Helen’s and the surrounding devastated area and Mt Hood and Mt Rainer and a tranquil lake.


  • Hike to Goat Mountain Ridge, 700 feet of elevation gain, for amazing view of Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier and Mount Hood.
  • If the loop is your choice, it can be hiked in either direction, and there are several lakes along the way that make good campsites.
  • Take another short side trip to nearby Deep Lake.
  • Book Reference: Route described in Backpacking Washington by Douglas Lorain (Wilderness Press, 2007).
  • Suitable Activities: Backpacking
  • Seasons: June, July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous
  • Length: 26.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,300 ft
  • 5,200 ft
  • Green Trails Mount St Helens NVM No. 332S
  • Green Trails Spirit Lake No. 332
  • Trails Illustrated Mt Saint. Helens/Mount Adams
Trip Reports

There are no resources for this route/place. Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.