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South Coldwater Trail to Lakes Trail Loop is a 11.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Toutle, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from June until September.

Length 11.6 mi Elevation gain 2,011 ft Route type Loop

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Running

Forest

Lake

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Over grown

Snow

Washed out

No dogs

Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

Washington State Tourism, P.O. Box 42500 , Olympia, WA, 98504-2500, Phone: 360-586-2088, tobyg@tourism.wa.gov

Directions from Iron Creek: Follow Forest Route 25 south for approximately five miles to Forest Route 99. Follow 99 southwest past Miner's Car Interpretive Site, to Primary Forest Route 26. Follow 26 north to the Norway Pass trailhead. Take the Boundary Trail #1 west (approximately 5-6 miles) to Coldwater Trail.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (152)
Photos (584)
Recordings (92)
Completed (282)
Mike Ajifu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!MuddyNo shadeOver grown

Wow what a long hike. Like most I chose the counter clockwise starting at the boat launch parking. I won't bore you with the same details as others have stated, but will share my personal insights. This trail does have everything. Rapid elevation gain, views, lake, creek, bridge, mud, dust, and best of all the insane amounts of overgrowth (being facetious). I read there was some overgrowth, and thought some areas...no, its nearly the entire trail especially where there is shade and trees and gets insane as you descend down to the bridge (~2 miles of it). In the open area are more wildflower overgrowth which isn't bad. So be prepared, there is possibility of ticks. Put on lots of Deet and use Permethrin on your clothes. When heading back, it appears most only do the Coldwater lake trail, not the loop. Get to the bridge and head back. I saw no one on the ridge portion of the trail from S. Coldwater lake trail. I gave a lot of tips to would-be folks that were thinking of continuing and going up the overgrown switchbacks up the ridge. I prefer not that direction.

Amir Guerouate
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2020
HikingBugs

Did this trail on a hot summer day. I would recommend bringing both hiking poles and bug spray. I got murdered by mosquitos. Hiking poles will be helpful the first 4 or 5 miles when it is pretty steep uphill and downhill. The other 6 or 7 miles is just flat. The wildflowers are beautiful. At the tallest peak of the trail there is farming or mining equipment which apparently was blown over there during the Saint Helen's eruption. There is lake access so you can take a swim. This trail is pretty long. I started at 8:30 and ended around 4.

Olivia Swanson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 5, 2020
Hiking

THIS TRAIL IS HARD!!! So worth it though. Lots of bugs, very overgrown in some parts, directly in the song for a long time but in and out most of the time. Yea this trail is not for the faint of heart but it sure is cool seeing the buried machinery at the top.

View Olivia's Recording
Mike Thelin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
Hiking

This trail is a real gem. The first five miles along Coldwater Lake is relatively flat—some ups and downs—and exposed to the sun with lovely stretches through the greenest Alder forests. There are hidden beaches all along the way. The trail ascends steeply after forking toward South Coldwater, and it’s a relatively intense climb for a couple of miles through thick brush. It’s a grunt but not too terrible. At the top, it’s a lovely stroll with gorgeous views of Mt. St. Helens and other rather impressive surrounding peaks. When the trail began to descend, there was a kaleidoscope or wildflowers (early August). This area feels really wild. I definitely recommend the clockwise route to fully enjoy the panorama of peaks and mighty St. Helens as the trail drops back into the valley. The last mile or so is a trudge along the highway.

Ken Enneking
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
HikingGreat!
Steve Devlin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2020
Hiking

Nice morning. Trail down from ridge quite overgrown couldn’t run it

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jesse g.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking
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Nathan R
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 26, 2020
Hiking

Enjoyed the hike today. I hiked the entire loop. The trail is a little grown over, but easily passable with plants brushing you from the waist down. Hiked it clockwise. It’s a steep climb between 4.6-5.6. Definitely no water after 4.6... bring a couple liters. It was just myself and my dog. It took 3.5 hours moving at a good clip with no long stops.

Donna Barnett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2020
HikingNo shade

Incredible wildflowers! We didn’t run into bugs. It was warm and sunny, bring water.

Sarah P.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 20, 2020
HikingBugsGreat!MuddyNo shadeOver grownRocky

Parked at boat launch, walked up the road to trailhead, felt dangerous. Counterclockwise. So beautiful. Views at the beginning, wildflowers throughout, waterfalls, lake views, eagles, bugs a plenty. Dip in the lake at the end was wonderful. Took 5+ hours. Next time do ridge and explore trails up there, hike back then drive to the boat launch and hike in a bit for lake swim. I would not want to do this loop in the rain.

Haley Spears
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 19, 2020
HikingBugsNo shadeOver grown

Such a beautiful trail and views! The wildflowers are at their peak right now. Trail was overgrown in some places and lots of bugs-be sure to pack bug repellent. Bring plenty of water as parts of the trail get steep and there’s limited shade. Definitely returning to this one again.

Kyle Manning
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 19, 2020
HikingBugsOver grown

Pretty views, very overgrown sections and some fun switchbacks. My 6 and 8 year old boys made the loop, but I would suggest starting at the South Coldwater trailhead and finishing at Coldwater Lake. Start with the hill instead of after 5 miles, would have been easier.

Raymond Senior
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 18, 2020
Hiking

we made it a loop. 230 to 230A and bake the last 3/4 mile on the road

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Jim Christian
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2020
HikingBugsFeeGreat!MuddyNo shadeOver grownRocky
View Jim's Recording
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