Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mount St. Helens north

Last week on the Loowit Ben and I convinced ourselves that the trails to the north of Mount St. Helens in the Mount Margaret Backcountry area were looking good for a long run. A cool-looking 50k was mapped and Kevin joined in.

Well, it is February. And there were some big snow drifts that resulted in steep traverses with less-than-favorable runouts. About 14 miles in we made the call that pushing on wasn't the best choice and we still made a nice loop out of day that clocked in at ~25 miles with over 6,000' of climbing.

It was another gorgeous outing with good guys and from the summit of The Dome off Boundary Trail #1 we could see Jefferson, Hood, St. Helens, Adams and Rainier; Cascade volcanoes abound!

Starting out from the Hummocks TH
Low on the Johnston Ridge trail; Kevin's photo
Johnston Ridge trail
Johnston Ridge trail
Keyhole before Coldwater Peak
Mt. Rainier from the shoulder of Coldwater Peak
Rainier, Adams, St. Helens Lake, Spirit Lake, Hood, St. Helens; from the shoulder of Coldwater Peak
Kevin descending from most of the way up Coldwater Peak
Mount St. Helens' lava dome
Above St. Helens Lake; Ben's photo

Boundary Trail #1; Kevin's photo
Below The Dome
Looking over at Mt. Margaret, from where we turned around
Kevin styling; a little bit back from where we turned around
Ben, Kevin, me; summit of The Dome
Ben descending The Dome, with Mt. Adams and Spirit Lake

Kevin's photo
Looking up Coldwater Creek into the Mt. Margaret Backcountry
Numerous creeks along the Coldwater Lake trail
Finishing up along Coldwater Lake


  1. Amazing pics all around. What were the temps? Also, how long did the trip take you, Seattle to trailhead and back?

  2. Cold in the morning (around freezing) with strong winds until the afternoon, when May arrived. We left town at 4am and got back around 5pm-ish?

  3. Nice! I was on the trail on Sunday also. Very windy. I took the Coldwater trail when I got to that point and then the South Coldwater Trail down the ridge to the road. I was following your footsteps all day, at a much slower pace I imagine. I didn't see anyone all day until I got to the South Coldwater Trail.

    1. Cool, thanks for letting me know Jay! Hope you enjoyed the day as much as we did. And yeah, there were some pretty nasty gusts out there.

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