A Peaceful Visit to Soapstone Lake

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Coastal Mountains

Before dense wildfire smoke shut down Northwest Oregon, I drove to the Soapstone Lake Trailhead in the Clatsop State Forest. It is a relatively easy hike – – – under four miles roundtrip with about 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, except the fourth footbridge is currently out at the lake’s outlet.

Soapstone Lake

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

Upon reaching the far side of the Lake, I found a nice place to take some photos and eat a snack.

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

Garter Snake

Nursery Stumps

Soapstone Lake

Foxglove, Devil’s Club, and a good-sized Garter Snake

Well-built footbridge on the trail

12-foot diameter stump along the trail



Categories: Oregon Coastal Mountain HikingTags:


  1. What a treat to find peace on this trail, John, thank you. I’m glad you were able to get a hike in before the smoke and fires started, and also glad you’re okay. That 12′ stump does make one wonder how those loggers got something that gigantic down with the tools of the time. The lake is beautiful, and I enjoyed all the sights and the handsome footbridge. Long and beautiful garter snake!

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