Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Hiking Trails

Mount. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument Trail Descriptions

Find information on the hiking trails including the location and length of each trail, whether the trail is easy or difficult, nearby facilities and points of interest.

Barrier Free Trails:

Winds of Change Trail #232 -- Access at Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center.

Trailhead facilities: Restrooms, drinking water, telephones, food, and picnic area available at Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center.

Length: 0.25 mile. Difficulty: Easy. No elevation change.

Description: Paved trail with interpretive signs. The trail offers a close-up look at returning life, as well as evidence from the 1980 blast and views of Mount St. Helens, Coldwater Lake, and Maratta Pond.

Birth of a Lake Trail #246 -- Access at Coldwater Lake Recreation Area.

Trailhead facilities: Restrooms, drinking water, telephones and picnic area.

Length: 0.25 mile. Difficulty: Easy. No elevation change

Description: Boardwalk with interpretive signs along the shore of Coldwater Lake, a lake created by the 1980 eruption. The trail offers a closeup look at returning life in the area, with glimpses of Mount St. Helens and views of Minnie Peaks.

Eruption Trail #201 (not shown on map), Access at Johnston Ridge Observatory

Trailhead facilities: Restrooms, drinking water, telephones and picnic area
Length: 0.5 miles, 0.8 km. Difficulty: Moderate. Elevation change: 300 feet.

Description: Paved trail with interpretive signs. The trail offers panoramic views of Mount St. Helens' crater, the pumice plain and blast zone, as well as partial views of Sprit Lake.

Easy-Moderate Trails:

Boundary Trail #1, Hummocks Trailhead/Johnston Ridge Observatory

Trailhead facilities: Restrooms, drinking water and telephones are available at Johnston Ridge Observatory.

Length: See map for details. Difficulty: Moderate to difficult. Elevation change: up to 3000 ft 914 m

Description: Boundary Trail #1.5 proceeds up the valley from Hummocks Trail #229 with excellent views of the landslide and Mount St. Helens' crater. From Johnston Ridge Observatory, Boundary Trail #1 gives wide views of the blast zone, with excellent views of the pumice plain and crater to the south, and partial views of Spirit Lake to the east. Near the junction with Coldwater Trail #230-2, Boundary Trail #1 goes through a natural arch with views of Saint Helens Lake and the Mount Margaret Backcountry.

Hummocks Trail #229, Hummocks Trailhead

Trailhead facilities: None. Nearest restrooms, drinking water and phones at Coldwater Lake Recreation Area.

Length: 2.6 miles, 4.3 km. Difficulty: Moderate. Elevation change: 300 ft. 91 m

Description: The trail takes you through hummocks (giant chunks of Mount St. Helens deposited by the May 18, 1980 landslide). It offers a close-up look at numerous wetlands and ponds, as well as excellent views of Mount St. Helens and the Toutle River.

Difficult Trails:

Elk Bench Trail #211D, Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center

Trailhead facilities: Restrooms, drinking water, telephones, food, and picnic area available at Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center

Length: 1.0 mile, 1.6 km. Difficulty: Difficult- Elevation change: 600 ft. 183 m

Description: From Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center, the Elk Bench Trail descends via switchbacks to join Lakes Trail #211 on the shore of Coldwater Lake. The Elk Bench Trail offers views of Mount St. Helens, Coldwater Lake and Minnie Peaks.

Truman Trail #207, Windy Ridge Viewpoint

Trailhead facilities: Restrooms are available at Windy Ridge Viewpoint.

Length: 5.8 miles, 9.7 km. Difficulty: Moderate to difficult. Elevation Change: 1200 ft. 366 m

Description: This trail takes you through the pumice plain, with views of Mount St. Helens' crater, Spirit Lake and Loowit Falls.

Harry's Ridge Trail #208, spur of Boundary Trail #1

Trailhead facilities: None, this trail is accessed by Boundary Trail #1.

Nearest facilities at Johnston Ridge Observatory, 3.1 mi from trailhead.

Length: 1.0 mi., 1.6 km. Difficulty: Moderate to difficult Elevation change: 200 ft. 61 m.

Description: This spur trail climbs Harry's Ridge to offer excellent views of Spirit Lake. Hummocks (giant chunks of Mount St. Helens deposited by the May 18, 1980 landslide) are visible in the northern comers of the lake, and thousands of trees that were swept into the lake during the eruption can still be seen floating on the lake.

Lakes Trail #211, Coldwater Lake Recreation Area

Trailhead facilities: Restrooms, drinking water, telephones and picnic area.
Length: 5.25 miles, 7.0 km. Difficulty: Most difficult. Elevation change: 2700 feet.

Description: This trail follows the shore of Coldwater Lake. It offers a close-up look at returning life in the area.

South Coldwater Trail #230A, Coldwater Trail #230, Coldwater Trail #230-2, South Coldwater Trailhead

Trailhead facilities: None. Nearest Facilities at Coldwater Lake Recreation Area

Length: See map for details Difficulty: Moderate to difficult Elevation Change: 1300 ft. 396 m

Description: South Coldwater Trail #230A offers views of Coldwater Lake. Blasted logging equipment from 1980 is visible 1.75 mi. up the trail. Coldwater Trails #230 and #230-2 offer views of Mount St. Helens, Coldwater Lake and Coldwater Peak.

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