Explore the most popular lake trails near Toutle with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
16 hours ago

A starkly beautiful hike with numerous pay-off views along the way, including MSH, Spirit Lake, Adams, etc. Hot and dry on the way up at 11AM, but we were eating a humble but well earned lunch at the top by 12:30. Thunderheads and light rain showers were a welcome relief on the way back - really perfect weather, perfect day! This hike reveals overwhelming evidence of the devastation that happened in 1980 - and all the wounds still look so immediate and violent, a severe and devastating beauty surrounds you. It would be completely believable to see Smaug fly out from the fuming remains of this blown out crater, or to tremble before the lidless Eye of Sauron above the mortally wounded mountain that still dominates this aching wasteland. Bring lembas

My friends and I ran/walked this loop. Very beautiful. There is a few 5-6 creek crossings, but easy. The climb at the north end of lake is pretty steep, but the views from the top are spectacular! At the end you have to use 1.5 miles of pavement to get back to your car in the other parking lot. Trail is in good repair.

My friends and I ran/walked from Coldwater Lake parking lot to Hummock to Johnsons ridge observatory then to boundary trail. We didn't go to the end of the boundary trail, we cut off at Coldwater trail then tied into South Coldwater trail and ended up in south parking lot. AMAZING scenery but difficult.

hiking
4 days ago

Wonderful short day hike offering plenty of views of Mt. St. Helens and a plethora of wildflowers. The large old growth Noble firs are spectacular and create a beautifully ominous backdrop to the crystal clear water of Goat Marsh. Don't forget to bring your bugs spray.

My first time seeing Mt Saint Helens! Started at the South entrance which was a great recommendation to get the climb over at the beginning. But, the hike back to the car is on the main road! Would not suggest doing this alone. With my imagination and all the strange looks from passing cars, I thought I’d never get back to my car. :). Hehee

Beautiful hike with great views the entire way. Wildflowers are blooming right now red and purple. There is a bypass of the devils elbow section, clearly marked. Start early to avoid the inevitable crowds, trail etiquette gets rough close to the observatory.

hiking
5 days ago

hot today.. sun was a killer

I just finished this hike and I am so darn sore!!! started at 6:30am and finished at 12:33. It's a must do trail! if you do the loop be aware you will be walking on the highway for over a mile to get back to the s coldwater trailhead.

Great day hike with Great Lake and Mountain View’s. Family friendly trail with little elevation gain. Not much shade as with most St Helens hikes so bring sun screen. Trailhead starts at the Coldwater boat launch and no dogs are allowed on the trail. Happy hiking. I only did the coldwater north trail. The loop is significantly more strenuous.

Awesome Trail!

hiking
12 days ago

Nice, beautiful, easy hike for the littles.

Solid hike. Start at the trailhead by the boat launch, easy to find. Also, the boat launch has restrooms. The trail itself is narrow, single file for sure. Great views of the lake on both sides of the trail. at first the going is easy, flat, and family friendly. Once you cross the river, the trail ascends and the mosquitoes can be extremely intense. You ascend a ridge and eventually come to an old logging site. Take a right at the junction and follow the trail along the ridge line. You'll know you're going the right way when you see rusted out machinery. 3/4 of the trail is shaded. Trail is a 4 due to soggy conditions and the 1.25 mile walk on the road from the end of the trail back to the boat launch.

hiking
19 days ago

Loved this trail! It was a challenge (for a beginner) but definitely doable. Lots of ups and downs. Views are so worth the work! My favorite trail so far!

hiking
20 days ago

If you want to make the full loop, dont start with trail 212. The other end features a significant climb at the beginning, which is best done on fresh legs. The views at the top are incredible, and the rest of the way is all down hill or gently rolling. The only downside is the mile long walk between trail heads.

A good day hike to get in shape. Good views of the mountain and the wild flowers are in bloom.

Trail is in great condition. Some bugs in the brush.

nature trips
20 days ago

What an awesome hike. My trip on May 31 was free of snow and the trail was in great shape. Not a lot of climbing... a pleasant forest stroll with some jaw dropping views of the volcano describes it well. Blue Lake Trail is really close by as well!

hiking
24 days ago

Excellent trail! A lot of wild flowers this time of the year.

Did this South Coldwater/Lakes trail loop clockwise today. Bugs were pretty bad from the upper end of the lake to the top of the ridge. Black bear sitting on the side hill climbing from Coldwater Creek sip to the South ridge. Trails in excellent condition for hiking. Easy to follow and not too overgrown. This is not an easy hike, but doable with young teens and adults in reasonable shape. Took about 6 hours with breaks including the 1.5 miles on the road.

hiking
26 days ago

Beautiful day for a hike! Mt Hood and Mt Adams were amazing today from Harry’s lookout! It was only in the low 60’s but seemed a lot warmer due to how exposed hear trails are, so bring plenty of water! Lots of people on our way out, so go early. One of our favorite places to go! Love Mt St. Helens!

Great hike! Did the 11.5 mile loop around the lake (including the road walk). The abandoned logging equipment from the blast is interesting to see.
This was fun with just enough elevation gain to make it feel like a good work out. My 12 year old, myself and a friend did this in 6 hrs including almost 1 hour of breaks.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

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!

About 10 miles round-trip. With only a light backpack, and stops for photos on the way, the hike was 2-2.5 hours up, and 1-1.5 down. Except for one or two steep parts that aren't exceedingly long, the hike is a gradual uphill that most won't struggle with. If you're thinking of turning back early, don't. The views get better and better until you're actually at the Observatory. Highly recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

This was my first time here and I did the trail clockwise, starting at the southern entrance near the signage, and wish I had gone the other way! I still had a lovely time but felt my views would have been better going counter clockwise.

Either way - lovely hike, excellent views and well maintained trail. A little muddy in spots and some bigger branches but all easy to get around.

I started at 6AM and it was very windy in some of the more exposed spots of the trail. Was the only car in the lot when I began and there were four others by the time I finished around 730.

hiking
1 month ago

Moderately easy hike with gradual elevation gain, great views of crater/blast-zone, in an other-worldly setting. the lack of trees and piles of rock and ash resemble the surface of the moon. very cool for a day hike. trail is in great condition.

1 month ago

Enjoyable scenic hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful views of the snow covered mountains, on this clear April day (last time we came, it was overcast). Nice trail for our group, ranging 10yr - early 60’s. We saw some beaver, water fowl, other birds and a few other hikers. There are restrooms not too far from the trail head. Good way to spend Earth Day :)

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome hike! Did this two days ago and loved how it gave total views of Mt. St. Helens, the blast zone, and the forrest. Lots of trails are still closed, and the overlook doesn’t open until May 16th, so check in with the visitor center to see which trails will be open for you to use.

Beautiful hike with great views of St. Helens. I went in mid March and there was still snow in some places.

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