Coldwater Peak: A Mt. St. Helens Hiker’s Delight

A herd of elk, lots of bear sign, ripe huckleberries, and a prehistoric landscape. From the Trailhead, only 5 1/2 miles north of the Mt. St. Helens Crater, I could see my destination, 5,722-foot Coldwater Peak.

Roosevelt Elk

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.

Mt. St. Helens

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

Golden-manteled surveying its kingdom

Steam coming from a growing dome inside the crater

White Rhododendron, Orange Agoseris, and Lupine & Paintbrush

Mt. Adams behind Spirit Lake

Coldwater Peak ahead

Trail travels through a hole in the rocks

Mt. Margaret behind St. Helens Lake

Final Climb to summit

Mt. Hood from summit of Coldwater Peak

In many ways the scenery is reminiscent 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.

Mt. St. Helens

Returning on Coldwater Peak Trail

Another day to remember!



Categories: Washington Cascades HikesTags: , ,

1 comment

  1. Wow how much it has changed , you’ve captured the real beauty that is coming back when so much was taken thank you John for sharing your fantastic hikes for all the absolute scenes of our areas surrounding us not everyone is fortunate to go too. Thank you for sharing these intrust of passion you have. Take care my friend of many years.

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