Bucket List of Alpine Hikes in the Pacific Northwest #8: Coldwater Peak


Early morning found me at the Coldwater Peak Trailhead located at the Johnston Ridge Observatory only 5 1/2 miles north of the Mt. St. Helens Crater.

From the Trailhead I could see my destination, Coldwater Peak. Also visible was the early morning sun shining through a natural arch that the Trail passes through on the way to the Peak.

In 1980 the ever-increasing bulge on the north side of Mt. St. Helens burst. The effects of the blast are still very evident on the Coldwater Peak Trail.

It was a sunny, clear day providing views of the growing lava dome inside the old crater, the pumice plain and landslide deposits. The forest that once covered the area is long gone with ghostly white and grey remnants of the old trees evident in every direction.

The Trail provides many views of Mt. St. Helens, Spirit Lake (where Harry Truman refused to leave his Lodge and died in the blast), St. Helens Lake (home of many logs from trees destroyed by the pyroclastic flows from the 1980 eruption) and Mt. Rainier.

In many ways the scenery is reminisant of a Moon landscape. A few trees are growing, but the land is many centuries away from returning to its previous green splendor. It is a truly unique and amazing environment to meander through.

Another day to remember!

Mt. St. Helens

Mt. St. Helens

Pussypaws

Pussypaws

Coldwater Peak

Coldwater Peak

Trail passing through a natural arch

Trail passing through a natural arch

 

Mt. Hood behind Spirit Lake

Mt. Hood behind Spirit Lake

Rock Penstemon on the side of Coldwater Peak with the Boundary Trail far below

Rock Penstemon on the side of Coldwater Peak with the Boundary Trail far below

Herd of Roosevelt Elk feeding in the early morn

Herd of Roosevelt Elk feeding in the early morn

St. Helens Lake with floating logs caused by the 30-year old eruption

St. Helens Lake with floating logs caused by the 30-year old eruption

Mt. St. Helens growing dome is easily visible over a field of wildflowers

Mt. St. Helens growing dome is easily visible over a field of wildflowers

Spirit Lake

Spirit Lake

Mt. Raineer

Mt. Raineer

Pasqueflower

Pasqueflower

Wind blowing snow on the rim of Mt. St. Helens

Wind blowing snow on the rim of Mt. St. Helens

Johnston Ridge Observatory

Johnston Ridge Observatory

Orange Agoseris (a favorite)

Orange Agoseris (a favorite)

Colorful wildflowers growing on a lunar landscape

Colorful wildflowers growing on a lunar landscape

Mt. Adams over Spirit Lake

Mt. Adams over Spirit Lake

Lupine love the volcanic soil

Lupine love the volcanic soil

St. Helens Lake

St. Helens Lake

Paintbrush in another plant that thrives in volcanic soil

Paintbrush is another plant that thrives in volcanic soil

 

 

 

Categories: Bucket List of Apine Hikes, Washington Cascades HikesTags: , , , , , , , ,

7 comments

  1. Nice photos of Mt St Helens and surrounding environs. Surprisingly large number of logs in Spirit Lake.

    Like

  2. Thanks & God Bless

    Ed Lyon
    Community Director, FCA Ventura County
    P.O. Box 6033, Ventura, CA 93006
    805-746-4725
    elyon@fca.org

    See our Vision
    http://www.venturacountyfca.org

    FCA UCLA Sports Camp
    http://www.vimeo.com/35350998

    FCA Ventura County Golf Tournament
    https://fca.webconnex.com/2014annualgolftournament

    For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” Mathew 6:21
    Please Donate: http://www.venturacountyfca.org/donate

    Like

  3. Great Pictures!!

    Like

  4. Wow, John, this is a gallery of incredible photos! The scenery, the quality of the photographs, it is all extraordinary. I espec. like the angle on Mt. Rainier, one I have not seen before, of this majestic mountain (that is often shrouded in clouds).

    Like

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