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Mount Margaret's Ridge Camp via Coldwater Trailhead

Toutle, Washington

based on 2 reviews



7.12 miles

Elevation Gain

1634 ft

Route Type



Added by Andy Best

Ridge Camp is a relatively short and easy hike to the camp with mesmerizing scenery created by the eruption. If you choose to make this a day hike, be sure to bring enough water, it's a dry hike

The hike is relatively easy. I'd say intermediate due to the incline at the beginning. Also intermediate due to it being an backpacking camp adventure.

A friend of mine and I backpacked in to shoot the sunset and sunrise. We went a little early in the season so it was also to scout for future adventures. We hiked and explored all the vistas, as well as the damage done from the Mt. St. Helens eruption. The devastation is ming blowing.

The views are spectacular! It's truly mind blowing witnessing the power and aftermath of an eruption of that scale. Trees are blown over as far as you can see. Truly mesmerizing. The fog rolls into the valleys every morning and night and is definitely a must see for all the fog enthusiasts out there.

If you're going for a day hike, make sure you carry enough water as it's a dry hike. If you're hiking, you may want some one to drop you off at one trailhead and have you hike to the other. A thru hike gives you a lot more scenery than an in-and-back.

Patty's Place at 19 Mile Place is a great stop for a bite to eat after. It's on the way back to the freeway from Johnston Ridge Observatory.

To start this trip in the Mt. Margaret Backcountry take off from the trailhead by Coldwater Lake and camp at Ridge Camp. You can either start from Johnston Ridge Observatory, or by Coldwater Lake. Here's a map of Mount Margaret Backcountry and a link to the Visitor's Guide should you need it.

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Mount Margaret's Ridge Camp via Coldwater Trailhead Reviews

Thought I should add some important details that were left out in this description so those reading don't go through the trouble I did! You need a backcountry permit to camp in this area from March to November. These permits go fast so that makes this an unlikely last minute trip (if you're a procrastinator like me haha). It is usually inaccessible in late fall to early spring due to snow. It is important to note that fires are NOT allowed! Hope this is helpful to those reading!

Directions & map were 5 stars. The trail itself was ok and the camp was nice, but to get better views—keep hiking for at least another 1/2 mile. I gave it an extra star because the camp itself was clean—there was zero litter.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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Hike to Coldwater Peak via Boundary Trail

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