Coldwater Lake 12/29/13

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aircooled
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Coldwater Lake 12/29/13

Post by aircooled » December 29th, 2013, 7:34 pm

Short TR here ... I did a little hiking and picture taking today on Mt. St. Helens' Boundary Trail and hiked a few miles along Coldwater Lake. No snow on the roads or the trail. And it was really warm. The mountain is bare! I bet you could do the entire Loowit right now.

On the Boundary Trail I met only one other hiker, a woman from Woodland who lurks here. I passed just one group on Coldwater Lake and a few cyclists. Head up there now and you can have the mountain to yourself.

I spoke with a ranger at the Coldwater visitor center (this was their last day open) who said the road to Ape Canyon trail is now closed. You can't go further than Marble Mountain sno park.

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Last edited by aircooled on January 1st, 2014, 6:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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kepPNW
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Re: Coldwater Lake

Post by kepPNW » December 29th, 2013, 10:14 pm

Can't believe the lack of snow! The gate at the Hummocks is closed, too? (Can't drive all the way to JRO?)
Karl
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aircooled
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Re: Coldwater Lake

Post by aircooled » December 30th, 2013, 10:31 am

kepPNW wrote:Can't believe the lack of snow! The gate at the Hummocks is closed, too? (Can't drive all the way to JRO?)
Correct. You can drive to do the 2.5 mile Hummocks loop or the Boundary Trail, but that's it. The ranger said you could always bring a bike and cycle past the gate.

I'm thinking about bringing a kayak and paddling to the end of Coldwater Lake with overnight gear, and backpacking on from there.

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kepPNW
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Re: Coldwater Lake

Post by kepPNW » December 30th, 2013, 11:04 am

aircooled wrote:
kepPNW wrote:Can't believe the lack of snow! The gate at the Hummocks is closed, too? (Can't drive all the way to JRO?)
Correct. You can drive to do the 2.5 mile Hummocks loop or the Boundary Trail, but that's it. The ranger said you could always bring a bike and cycle past the gate.
Okay, good to know! That's what I thought was the case, but wondered since you said folks were still at JRO. Thanks!
Karl
Back on the trail, again...

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Born2BBrad
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Re: Coldwater Lake

Post by Born2BBrad » December 30th, 2013, 7:33 pm

Cool!!

Maybe if the weather is good on Wednesday I'll head out to the MSH area.

Thanks for the update.

Brad
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BrianEdwards
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Re: Coldwater Lake

Post by BrianEdwards » December 30th, 2013, 8:34 pm

Where's the snow this year? Crazy to see Coldwater at New Years with just a dust of snow
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retired jerry
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Re: Coldwater Lake

Post by retired jerry » December 30th, 2013, 10:55 pm

So you can still drive to Coldwater Lake? Isn't there a trail from there to Mt Margaret back country?

Do you need permits to park overnight? I have NW Forest Pass.

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-Q-
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Re: Coldwater Lake

Post by -Q- » December 31st, 2013, 9:51 am

retired jerry wrote:So you can still drive to Coldwater Lake? Isn't there a trail from there to Mt Margaret back country?

Do you need permits to park overnight? I have NW Forest Pass.
Hey there Jerry.

Road 504 to Coldwater Lake is plowed all winter long. Its always open.

Yes, the Lakes Trail intersects the Coldwater Trail on the northeast side of Coldwater Lake.
The Lakes Trail continues on into the Mt Margaret backcountry.

Parking at Coldwater Lake does indeed require a NW Forest Pass, at least I think it does. I always just put mine up as a default to be safe. However, a Monument Pass is not required to hike there. A ranger at JRO once told me that they don't think its fair to require folks to drive up to JRO to buy the Pass (6 miles each way), only to head back down to the Lake.

I parked and slept overnight in my truck at Coldwater Lake about a month ago.
While camping at the lake is not allowed, I spoke to a very nice Park Employee who gave me his business card and told me it was alright for me to sleep in the truck there that night. This was due mainly to the fact that it was offseason, and nobody was really around. During the summer months, I think this would be frowned upon. Just parking overnight is allowed I believe.

FYI... The bathrooms at Coldwater Lake are heated with auto lights and are not locked. Very handy for the winter months.

Parking overnight at JRO however is not allowed per the posted signs.
No parking from 10pm to 5am.

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