Quote of the Month:

Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own." - Charles Dickens

Birth of a Lake Trail, Summertime

Parent Category: Hiking
Created: 18 July 2017

 Photo taken at Birth of a Lake Trail, Mount St. Helens, Washington State

Location: South Cascades Region, Mount St. Helens Area
Roundtrip: 0,5 miles 
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: No elevation change
Highest Point: 2,500 feet
GPS Coordinates: N 46 17.450 W 122 15.910
Visitor’s Information:

A per Person Day-Use Fee is Charged at Coldwater Lake Picnic and Boating Area


Pictures below will take you on a virtual tour along an incredible Birth of a Lake Trail, Mount St. Helens. Enjoy the beauty of our beloved Washington State!

 Photo taken at Birth of a Lake Trail, Mount St. Helens, Washington State

 General Information:

Coldwater Lake is an amazing natural reminder of a disaster which happened in faraway 1980th – of the eruption of Mount St. Helens. This lake, which is one of the youngest lakes in the United States, celebrates its birthday at the day of volcanic eruption, as it was created at that day by enormous lahars and lava flows which blocked the Coldwater Creek, thus originating this new beautiful water resource. 

But looking now at the incredible beauty of this place, soaking in the supernal loveliness of the lake shores plenteously covered by the carpet of multicolored wild-flowers, it is hard to believe what desolation, emptiness and devastation was here only thirty-five years ago. 

 Photo taken at Birth of a Lake Trail, Mount St. Helens, Washington State

Apart from being a wonderful place for recreation, Coldwater Lake is also an amazing evidence of how nature can revive and return to life after a horrible natural disaster.

To enjoy the glory of nature and learn more about the history of the Lake creation, take your time to walk along the Birth of a Lake Trail (Trail No 246). This quite short (only half a mile long) loop trail is partially paved and partially consists of boardwalk, and is can be fully accessed by wheelchairs or strollers. It meanders along the lake shore, allowing the visitors to see with their own eyes how the area is step by step restoring to life.

The information display panels reveal the story of lake creation and how the area is coming back to life. A part of the trail is a footbridge entering the waters of the lake and allowing the hikers to take delight in one of the best views of the lake and legendary Mount St. Helens at its background. If you are visiting the trail on a calm and sunny day, you will have a chance to revel in a perfect reflection of the hills surrounding this beautiful lake. 

 Photo taken at Birth of a Lake Trail, Mount St. Helens, Washington State

Off-trail travels are not permitted here, but they are also not needed as the views you get from the Birth of a Lake Trail will perfectly satisfy you.

Coldwater Lake recreation area is a starting point for the Birth of a Lake Trail. There, at the trailhead, you may enjoy the use of the following amenities:

- drinking water

- restrooms

- telephones

- fishing dock

- lakeside picnic area with picnic tables

- boat launch

- fish-cleaning station

- pet designated area

- two parking lots

Unfortunately no pets are allowed on the trail though some not responsible visitors let their beloved four-legged friends off leash here. 

 Photo taken at Birth of a Lake Trail, Mount St. Helens, Washington State

Among the recreation options this amazing place offers its visitors except for hiking and picnicking, is fishing, kayaking and boating (though only non-motorized).

These pictures were taken on July 06, 2017

Driving Directions:

Driving from Castle Rock, you should go by Highway 504 eastwards for about 43 miles. At the point where the road splits you should keep right, towards the Johnston Ridge Observatory. In approximately one mile, take the left turn to Coldwater Lake Picnic and Boating Area. The access to Birth of a Lake Trail is possible from the picnic area.

GPS Coordinates: N 46 17.450 W 122 15.910

In order to get directions click on the map below:



Photo: Roman Khomlyak

Photo Editing: Juliana Voitsikhovska

Information: Svetlana Baranova

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