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Coldwater Lake Trailhead

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Coldwater Lake Trailhead, Coldwater Lake (bobcat)
View of the lake from near the trailhead (bobcat)


Hikes starting here

Fees and Regulations

  • No dogs or stock permitted
  • No off-trail travel permitted in this area
  • A Monument Pass is a per-person pass good for one day at Johnston Ridge Observatory and Coldwater Lake Recreation Area. They cost $8 for visitors 16 and older, are free for those 15 and under, and may be obtained at Johnston Ridge Observatory, six miles up the road. A Northwest Forest Pass allows one adult free day use access. You do not need to display the Forest Pass on your car: take it into the visitor center to get a wristband that entitles you to use of the facilities and area trails.

Driving Directions

Drive I-5 north to Exit 49 for Highway 504E, Toutle and Castle Rock.

Turn right after exiting and drive 43.1 miles on 504E through Castle Rock, Silver Lake and Toutle.

At a junction, bear right for Coldwater Lake and Johnston Ridge Observatory.

Descend 1.9 miles and turn left for the Coldwater Lake Recreation Area.

Drive 0.3 miles to one of two parking areas here.

Other Notes

  • Restrooms, picnic tables, fishing dock, boat launch
  • The 0.6 mile Birth of a Lake Interpretive Trial also begins at this trailhead.
  • The access road to the parking area is sometimes gated in the winter.


Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.