South Coldwater

Toutle, Washington

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1 Review
4 out of 5
The path climbs gently on a slope through scattered willows. Stumps between the willows and the general lack of downed trees show that this area was logged before the 1980 eruption. Shortly, as you round a poorly defined ridge, the Coldwater Ridge Visitors Center and Coldwater Lake come into view to the northwest. If you hike this section of trail in late spring you will probably see elk. This is winter range for the large animals; by June most of them have left for the higher country to the northeast. This roadbed, like all of the abandoned roads on this hill is badly drifted in with pumice. The path makes a switchback to the right then crosses the rounded ridgeline. As you climb along the ridge you will pass much evidence of pre-eruption logging in the form of roads and skid trails. An abandoned borrow pit is passed 1.3 miles from the trailhead. This broken and twisted equipment shows the tremendous force of the 1980 eruption. A logging operation was in progress in this area at the time of the eruption. It is easy to pick out the sections that were not yet logged at the time of the blast by the thousands of logs that now lie on the ground. A short distance past the portable spar pole is a half-buried caterpillar tractor.
Best Easy Day Hikes: Mount St. Helens

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Easy Day Hikes: Mount St. Helens

by Fred Barstad (Falcon Guides)

The path climbs gently on a slope through scattered willows. Stumps between the willows and the general lack of downed trees show that this area was logged before the 1980 eruption. Shortly, as you round a poorly defined ridge, the Coldwater Ridge Visitors Center and Coldwater Lake come into view to the northwest. If you hike this section of trail in late spring you will probably see elk. This is winter range for the large animals; by June most of them have left for the higher country to the northeast.

This roadbed, like all of the abandoned roads on this hill is badly drifted in with pumice. The path makes a switchback to the right then crosses the rounded ridgeline. As you climb along the ridge you will pass much evidence of pre-eruption logging in the form of roads and skid trails. An abandoned borrow pit is passed 1.3 miles from the trailhead. This broken and twisted equipment shows the tremendous force of the 1980 eruption. A logging operation was in progress in this area at the time of the eruption. It is easy to pick out the sections that were not yet logged at the time of the blast by the thousands of logs that now lie on the ground. A short distance past the portable spar pole is a half-buried caterpillar tractor.

©  Fred Barstad/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Toutle
Distance: 6.8
Elevation Gain: 1,380 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: Day hike
Season: Best spring thru fall
Local Contacts: Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Local Maps: USGS Elk Rock, Spirit Lake W
Driving Directions: Directions to South Coldwater

Recent Trail Reviews

7/16/2009
0

My friends &Were thoroughly impressed by this hike. The climb moderate and varied fauna & views were a rare treat; especially the incredible riot of flowers this late in the month. Adding to this adventure; was the surreal quality of seeing logging equipment half buried from the blast. An overall great dayhike!



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