South Coldwater

Toutle, Washington 98645

South Coldwater

South Coldwater Professional Review and Guide

"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."

South Coldwater Reviews

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon1 Total
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!

South Coldwater Photos

Help others discover amazing sights!

Trail Information

Nearby City
1,380 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Day hike
Best spring thru fall
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Local Contacts
USGS Elk Rock, Spirit Lake W
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018