CANCELED - Mt. St. Helens Car Camp at Seaquest State Park

Experience the best scenery in Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, hiking from Johnston Observatory to Harry's Ridge on Saturday and the South Coldwater Ridge and Lakes Loop Trail around Coldwater Lake on Sunday, camping Saturday night at Seaquest State Park.
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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 event.

This car camp consists of a day hike on Saturday to Harry's Ridge, camping Saturday night at Seaquest State Park and day hiking the South Coldwater Ridge and Lakes Loop trail on Sunday.  Car camp  registrants must participate in all three activities.  Registration for the car camp is by registering for both of the day hikes.  Leader permission is required to register for each day hike, to assure compliance.  Two adjoining campsites at Seaquest State Park, 52 and 53, have been reserved and paid for.  The fee paid is $80 and there will be a $10 charge paid upon arrival for each car more than two.  The total camp fee will be shared equally by the campers, so if there is a full group of 12 arriving in four cars, each camper would need to pay $8.33.

We will meet on Saturday at 10 AM at the entrance to Johnston Observatory, which is at the east end of SR 504, reached from I-5, by turning east at Exit 63 onto SR 505 and turning left onto Sr 504 at the T junction.  No parking pass needs to be displayed on the cars parked at the Johnston Observatory parking  lot.  Instead, a National Park Pass or Northwest Forest Pass must be shown by one of every four of our hikers to the Johnston Observatory entrance.  Then everyone will receive a wrist band that entitles them to do the Harry's Ridge hike and also tour the Observatory.  Without a pass the charge was $8 per person last year.

From Johnston Observatory, we will hike up to a nearby viewpoint and then down to a ridge that will take us to Harry's Ridge, where we stop for lunch and return by the same route.  If the weather is clear, we will have spectacular views throughout the hike. After the hike we will have about an hour to tour the Johnston Observatory, stopping before hand to drop our gear in our cars in the parking lot.

Then we will drive to Seaquest State Park to set up camp, cook dinner and enjoy smores around a campfire afterward.

Sunday morning we'll cook breakfast, break camp and at 8:30 AM head to the Coldwater Lake boat launch parking lot to use the restroom, leave a car in the parking lot and drive in the other cars the half mile to the South Coldwater Ridge trailhead parking lot, where there are no restrooms.  We will start our hike there onto South Coldwater Ridge, past logging equipment destroyed in the 1980 eruption to a viewpoint where we stop for lunch.  After lunch we descend to the north end of Coldwater Lake and in a short distance arrive at a sandy beach for a rest stop and swim.  The water is warm in this lake during the summer because of its low elevation.  Then we hike around the lake back to the boat launch parking lot, where the drivers get into the cars left there to retrieve the other cars.  On the drive home there will be an optional dinner stop at the Fire Mountain Grill, which features its peach cobbler ala mode among other menu items.