Explore the most popular no dogs trails in Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Hike was awesome! We went on Sunday, 13 MAY. Clear day, which made for some awesome views once you started climbing. Don’t get confused with the Coldwater Lake sign you see on the left-hand side. It is not the parking lot before for the trailhead for the hike. That parking lot leads you to nice boardwalk around part of the lake, which I clocked just over 1/2 mile. You will have to drive past that parking lot, down to the parking lot for Hummocks Trail since the road is still closed for Coldwater Lake. From the parking lot, you will have to walk around the barrier and walk on the road to the trailhead for Coldwater Lake. It is under a mile walk to the trailhead.

Amazing trail-- this is the only way to summit during the winter months (we went mid may and was still the technically winter). Would recommend crampons, hiking poles, and an extra trash bag to glissade down on!

Hi friends! Sunday, May 13th, 2018 was beautiful at Coldwater lake. Flowers were juuuust starting out, with a few tiny Lupine, nice groups of Paintbrush, and beargrass shoots were working their way up. The small meadows were yet to bloom, so I’d imagine a couple weeks out it will be fantastic. The water was cold as heck even in shallow areas, but that’s to be expected.

At the far end of the lake and looking up towards the passes (opposite the trailhead), there seemed to be a moderate amount of snow on the slopes (looking up towards Snow Lake). I’d imagine if warm weather holds it won’t be too long before the little lakes up-trail will be good to go.

Cheers!

Nice view of the mountain

hiking
9 days ago

I really enjoyed this (far more than I expected). We did the section with all the climbing over rocks. I did plan on returning with two nieces (ages 10 and 13) but I think I will wait a year or three to bring them to do that. I would worry about them falling but I absolutely loved it. It was wet in places and there were patches of snow on the ground when we came out the end. I also really enjoyed the walk on the trail from the upper part back to the car - great forest smells!

Loved glissading down. Way easier than Adams or Hood.

hiking
14 days ago

Pretty cool trail! The fact that you’re walking through these large channels of lava tubes is amazing. It’s nice to see the changes in height and width as you walk through as well as the draft that is created when you get to the narrow portions of the trail. Make sure you bring a couple of head lights and be prepared for it to get quite crowded.

It was absolutely amazing. I did that today 5/4/18 and it took me four hours to get all the way to the top. I started at 4:00 am and it was worth it!!!!

challenging walk in the cave. don't go alone. went in with warm water and came out the other end with nice cold water.

hiking
16 days ago

super fun! bring a good head lamp and a warm jacket it gets cold in the caves!

walking
26 days ago

You have to pay for parking and the trail is pretty busy. In some spots I had to wait 15 min for people to get through funnels in the trail or climb over certain rocks. BRING A LIGHT SOURCE.

Was very fun, VERY easy. I only gave it 3 because I probably wouldn’t go all the way there to do it again. Pretty damp, wear boots for the water puddles and such. Great little trip with friends. Bring a bright headlamp and gloves! Enjoy.

on Ape Cave Trail

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Unlike anything I’ve ever done... make sure if you do the lower trail you are prepared to do a lot of climbing!

hiking
1 month ago

One of a kind! The road was closed but you can park and walk .8 of a mile to the trailhead. There is still snow on the trail. So waterproof hiking boots help a lot! We did the lower cave and it was very easy. We plan on returning this summer to explore the upper cave!

This was my first really big hike. I got the permit in February and climbed in July. Couldn't have done it without poles and ankle boots (for the support). I didn't need crampons or anything at this point, but I did glissade down some snow chutes and could have used an ice pick. I used my retracted hiking poles. Be very careful if you glissade - there are some chutes that lead to nowhere or off of a cliff. Definitely wear long sleeve, light weight hiking shirts/pants. I wore a tank and a light sports hoody which I took off. My shoulders burned like crazy even with a ton of sunscreen. The snow, ash, and high altitude are the perfect recipe for a burn. Part 1 was a normal, medium-level hike. Part 2 was a rock scramble that lasted quite a long time. Bring gloves for this. Part 3 was the transition from a rock scramble to volcano ash, and Part 4 was all volcano ash. You actually fall two steps back for every step you take forward. It's like climbing a sand dune but less stable! But when you get to the top, the view is so incredible and there's enough flat land to stop for a snack or meal. Take in the beautiful peaks of other prominent mountains/volcanoes in the distance and marvel at how close the planes and helicopters are flying to you!

A really unique hike. I did it solo and quickly felt it would have been a better time with a few other people. Make sure you have at least two durable and dependable head lamps. Some rock scrambling is necessary. Hiked March 6th, and it was warmer in the cave than outside, at about 40*.

it was about a year ago that I went on this trail but it is super cool and unique, very beautiful. I am a Utah residing Washington native and this is probably my favorite hike of all time. I would, however, recommend bringing a sweatshirt, a headlight, and a handheld light (per person). Extra batteries wouldn't hurt, either. I love this trail, though!

hiking
3 months ago

be sure to get a snow pass for 23 dollars which can be purchased at the local store before the trail otherwise it's a 100 dollar fine. slushy snow at the start you have to walk about three quarters of a mile to the cave entrance due to snow. cave drips from the ceiling all throughout snow is at about 3ft right now upon departing the upper cave entrance. kind of a tight squeeze here and there. hardest part of cave is a 6 ft shear faced wall you have to actually climb up. not really for the faint of heart be sure to have a fully charged flashlight or headlamp because it's a cave and its pitch black, there's an opening in the ceiling about 4 fifths of the way through the cave, thats when you know you've almost made it. to get back down the mountain follow the blue/green diamonds. enjoy be safe check for conditions and landslide information before heading out.

Great hike.. We did upper half in and back.

Great snow shoe
We walked in to the the equipment and really enjoyed the day .

Tried to do Harry’s Ridge but the access road was closed right after the trailhead to Coldwater Lake. It was a nice enough hike on a clear blue sky day. Views of the lake and some surrounding mountains somewhat monotonous but still very beautiful and peaceful. Not many out on the trail at all on a Sunday.

Wet and dark. The rock formations are nothing that special. We did the lower cave first but probably could've skipped it.

This was the best hike!! We had an incredibly clear day, sunshine all the time with crazy views. Took us 5 hours up and 5 hours down (we didn't rush down, this can definitely be done faster but we took our sweet time).
We went late October and there was quite some snow, so light crampons or some sort of traction is really helpful. We also had gaiters which helped, but I'm sure people will argue you don't necessarily need it. However, it's a hard hike and whatever helps, right? Totally worth every step though!

on Butte Camp Trail

6 months ago

Finishing stretch of two night trip! Glad we were heading downhill!

Awesome butt kick trail

backpacking
6 months ago

It has everything! A big waterfall, lots of views of mountain ranges, adventure/ rope ascents&decents, AMAZING COLORS in the late fall! Totally underrated backpacking trip!

hiking
6 months ago

I think the idea of hiking this trail was more attractive than actually hiking it. It was dark 90% of the time during my hike there. There were maybe 3-4 cool spots worth checking out but that's about it. If you like cave-hiking, then this would be for you (not really my thing). And like pretty much everyone else say, bring headlights and wear sturdy shoes!

hiking
7 months ago

Long lave tube hike--remember to bring high-quality flashlight! Pay to park so bring cash.

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