Trip Report    

Day Hike - South Coldwater Ridge & Lakes Trail Loop

Fantastic, interesting, very scenic loop hike today on the north side of Mt. St. Helens!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The South Coldwater Ridge Trail was in great shape with only a few minor eroding spots. The cutoff to the Lakes Trail was in good condition, just a handful of easily passed tree/brush obstacles. Could use some maintenance. The Lakes Trail was also in great shape, although several short mud stretches need help. All streams were easy to cross with minimal wet feet. Very few bugs, but that will likely change soon.

    Spot on the cutoff trail:


My group of five met at the boat launch/Lake Trail at 7:30, started hiking at 8:10. Only 3 other vehicles there. We drove the mile up to the South Coldwater Ridge trailhead in 2 cars and left 2 at the boat launch. No parking passes needed for either trail. Nice clean bathroom with running water at the boat launch.

Perfect weather with sun, little breezes. Felt pretty hot as the day went on. Enjoyed logging equipment remains from the '80 eruption on the ridge, wildflowers just beginning, lots of new green growth. Did a side trip to Ridge Camp for lunch. Saw only seven other hikers the whole time, including 4 backpackers. A gorgeous day for this hike!  Well worth the drive. Round trip mileage on Gaia was 10.7, 1,897' gain.