Mount Margaret Backcountry Lakes

Cougar, Washington 98616

Mount Margaret Backcountry Lakes

Mount Margaret Backcountry Lakes Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The Mount Margaret Backcountry is a very scenic area in the rugged peaks north of Spirit Lake, filled with attractive mountain lakes, rocky peaks, flower fields, and great viewpoints. The region has been a popular hiking destination for decades, although its character changed dramatically (to use a woefully inadequate word) on May 18, 1980, when Mt. Margaret’s larger and more hot-headed neighbor literally blew her stack, blasted out the world’s largest clear-cut, and obliterated the entire neighborhood. Slowly, vegetation and trails are returning to this region providing hiking opportunities that are scenic and fascinating from both a botanical and a geologic point of view. To protect the fragile environment, all off-trail travel is prohibited and hikers are allowed to camp only at designated sites."

More Mount Margaret Backcountry Lakes Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

100 Classic Hikes Washington (The Mountaineers Books)
Craig Romano
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"Tucked within cirques and hanging valleys on a lofty ridge at the edge of the 1980 blast zone is a series of sparkling alpine lakes. But despite taking a full hit from Mount St. Helens’s famous eruption, the Mount Margaret backcountry is no wasteland. Nature has been busy recolonizing the region. Wildlife and wild?owers are proli?c. Hike to one or all of these lakes—spend the night and contemplate the healing forces of nature. Wildflowers now paint these wasteland. Nature has been busy recolonizing pumiced slopes in an array of dazzling colors." Read more
Day Hiking Mount St. Helens (The Mountaineers Books)
Craig Romano and Aaron Theisen
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"Travel through the 1980 blast zone to a series of alpine lakes tucked within rugged ridges. Despite taking a full hit from Mount St. Helens’ famous eruption that leveled ancient forests and blanketed the region in pumice, the Mount Margaret Backcountry is no barren wasteland. Nature has been busy recolonizing the area. Wildlife and wildflowers are prolific." Read more

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Trail Information

Nearby City
3,100 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Mid- to late July
Mount St . Helens National Volcanic Monument
Local Contacts
Green Trails: Mount St . Helens
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018