Explore the most popular waterfall 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.


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.

overall a ok hike don't like having to finish it up by a mile on the highway though.

The maps weren't very clear at all for someone who was new to the trails. We were kind of all over the place so we aren't completely sure how far we went. Must've been about 13-14 miles in/out.

Just hiked the North side of the lake to the bridge. The trail is in excellent condition but for some wire sticking up. I went with 4 friends on August 1st and the heat was brutal. The hike says it is about 4.5 miles out to the bridge but we registered 6 on our fitness trackers. Make.sure to take a lot.of food and water if you go. Especially if it's hot. Lots of little springs to splash water on yourself. Very refreshing on such a hot day. I jumped into the lake at the boat launch when we got back. GREAT HIKE. Forgot to mention all of the scenery on the drive. Saint Helens is amazing.

Did this hike with a friend and the trail was in great shape. Lots of beautiful, quiet lake views, some pretty fantastic views of Mount St. Helens on the way in and for about the first mile of the hike. We didn't see any other hikers until the very end when we were almost back to the trailhead at the boat launch. I will come back to so this hike again with my 8-year-old daughter soon!

Some of the best views of mountains Ive seen this year.

10 months ago

Very easy hike. Crossed several small streams. Very enjoyable

Beautiful view and pretty flat. Great place to take kids.

Beautiful hike. A bit slippery coming down by Coldwater lake. I fell a few times. I couldn't make the whole loop because of the snow. At one point I couldn't locate the trail anywhere so I ended backing out and this became a 15 mile day instead of 11. I would do this again next month.

Beautiful hike! We planned to turn around and back track once we got to the bridge, but the mile or so of heavy bushes, trees and bugs persuaded us to finish the loop and not go through it twice. I'm glad we did, the views are spectacular!

10 months ago

Definitely a unique perspective of Mt. Saint Helens. The trail is in good shape and the wild flowers were lovely. As it's completely out in the open, I'd highly recommend plenty of water and sunscreen.

10 months ago

Hiked this the first weekend in July and the trail was easy to follow (no snow). There are some parts that are overgrown before you get to the second split. I'd recommend wearing long pants to avoid the thorny bushes there. Overall a great hike, we came south to north and then walked back on hwy 504 to get to our car. The lake and wildflowers are beautiful!!

what a great hike! The flowers were incredible and the lake and mountain views were beautiful. This is an easy, relatively flat hike that would be great for kids. a lot of effort has gone into creating establishing and maintaining this trail, and although, as trails go, it is not a very old trail, it is really easy to walk on. There are places where the chain link fencing used to stabilize the ground is sticking up, so watch your step especially if you are running.
Was able to go for a swim after our hike and watched a fisherman pull a beautiful trout from the lake. I'll definitely be putting this on my list of trails to take out of town visitors to.
ps: the views of Mount Saint Helens on the drive-in are an added bonus exclamation point
ps: please excuse typos! fat/swollen fingers from hiking!

10 months ago

A unique look at Mt. St. Helens, about as close to the caldera as you can get. Bring sun protection as it's all out in the open

11 months ago

Great family outing. Perfect hike for all levels of abilities.

My son and I hiked the entire loop on Saturday 5/27. The trail is snow covered about 2 miles in so we had to climb up and over to get back to the trail. There were several more snow covered sections further along but we were able to get through. At the Boundary Trail junction there is another snowfield with a bunch of alder saplings blocking the way. We didn't see anyone until we were on the north side of the lake. This was a beautiful hike with lots of elk and deer.

Such a beautiful day to be out hiking the lake to the waterfall.

Monday, May 22, 2017

it was the perfect morning for a hike and this trail was beautiful. we'll marked, almost totally dry, spectacular views, benches & am out house along the way. due to time restraints with my large group we only did a Mile out. I hope to return soon to do the whole thing.

we attempted this hike today, may 17th. wayyyy too early in the season for our comfort and abilities. snow pack at mile 2 (south trailhead) forced us into a 4 mile out and back instead of the loop. got deep and the trail was hard to identify even with the markers.

looking forward to going back when the snow is gone. beautiful views.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Great hike, easy due to no elevation gain, 5 miles to creek and 5 miles back. Waterproof shoes in spring! Lots of wildlife.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Incredibly beautiful hike!!

love this hike lots of epic photo opportunities good trail to trail run some trees down but hey obstacles are part of the Adventure right

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Beautiful hike. A few spots where the trail was eroded but passable. Lovely flowers. Watch for ticks!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

It is quite a long hike, with lots of going up and down hills. Quite a work out. Make sure you have plenty of water for the open areas where the sun is beating down on you. Spirit lake is beautiful and the waterfall is pretty cool. The payoff doesn't seem as great as it should be for all the work put into the hike.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Nice hike .. bring lots of water

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