An Enjoyable Hike to Soapstone Lake in the Coastal Mountains


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Soapstone Lake

With the weatherman’s promise of some sunshine before the storms moved in again, I drove to the Soapstone Lake Trailhead in the Clatsop State Forest in late April. It was a relatively easy hike – – – 3 1/2 miles roundtrip with 500 feet of elevation gain.

The area lies on the west side of the Coastal Mountains about 13 miles from Seaside. It’s a fairly new trail in good shape with four footbridges. But, the lake’s outlet footbridge had been closed so I had to backtrack around the lake. I didn’t view it as a chore.

A stormy day at Soapstone Lake

The area is classic rain forest habitat. There were many stumps, some 10-12 feet across, from logging in the early 1900’s. It always brings the Stamper family to mind.

There were a few newts out on the trail and a couple of ducks on the lake. It is such a pleasant spot that I always think it should be called Serenity Lake.

On the way back I marveled at the grit and capabilities of the early 20th century loggers. In the hostile environment of the Coastal Mountains, their job was extremely difficult and dangerous.

Devil’s Club (why going off trail doesn’t occur much in the Coastal Mtns)

Skunk-cabbage

Red Elderberry

Footbridge

Fairy Lanterns and Wood Sorrel

Footbridge closed on outlet creek

Huge old stumps along the trail

Bluebell and Salmonberry

A sight not often seen these days (only five “sticks” on the trailer)

Categories: Oregon Coastal Mountain HikingTags:

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