A Mid-Winter Hike to a Beautiful Lake

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Coastal Mountains

The Soapstone Lake Trailhead lies in the Clatsop State Forest on the west slopes of the Oregon Coastal Mountains.

The hike to the lake is a joy. Because the outlet footbridge was out, the hike was a little longer than usual. It was about four miles roundtrip with under 500 feet of elevation gain.

Easily visible from the trail are a few huge stumps, a reminder of the logging operations of a century ago. I’m always amazed at the very tough logging conditions that existed in the Coastal Mountains. It is truly classic dense rainforest with very steep contours.

This day I had the trail and lake pretty much to myself, except for a few waterfowl floating on the water.

Sometimes the easiest hikes are the best.

Soapstone Lake

Skunk-cabbage (one of the earliest of wildflowers)

A huge nursery stump by the trail

Waterfall nearby on the NF of Nehalem River

Pretty meadows near Soapstone Creek (there used to be an old settler’s cabin in the meadows)

Nice stretch of trail



Categories: Oregon Coastal Mountain HikingTags:


  1. Looks like a beautiful hike and trail, John, and the signs of spring, the bright colors and green growth are wonderful to see. That nursery stump is so big! Hard to imagine that tree was taken down with handsaws.

  2. That crystal clear reflection! 🙂 Gorgeous photos

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