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South Coldwater Trailhead

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Parking at the trailhead (payslee)


Hikes starting here

Hikes including this location

Fees and Regulations

  • No dogs or stock permitted
  • Each adult needs a Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument Pass ($8). A Northwest Forest Pass (or America the Beautiful Pass) entitles you to one Monument pass.
  • No off-trail travel permitted in this area

Driving Directions

NOTICE: Due to a washout on May 14, 2023, SR504 is closed at MP 43 near the Coldwater Science and Learning Center. See South Coldwater Slide Information

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 past signs for Coldwater Lake (These are the nearest restrooms to the trailhead) and the Hummocks Trail, and after 3.1 miles, turn left into the South Coldwater Trailhead parking area.

In the winter, the road may be gated at the Hummocks Trailhead, adding an extra mile walk to South Coldwater Trailhead from the gate.

Other Notes

The entire route is on good, paved, multi-lane roads. Nearest gas station is in the town of Toutle. No cell reception. Nearest payphone is at the Johnston Ridge Observatory. Nearest bathroom/water is at the Coldwater Lake Trailhead. A large signboard showing a map of the area trails is posted at the trailhead.


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.