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Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Coldwater Lake

Whether you fish in it, hike around it or boat across it, explore the azure-colored lake that was formed by the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.

If you explored the Cascade Range a few decades ago, you wouldn’t have been able to visit Coldwater Lake, because it didn’t exist. When Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18, 1980, it covered much of southern Washington and northern Oregon in ash. When the dust settled several days later, Coldwater Lake was there, created when the debris dammed the Coldwater Creek Valley. Today, hike around the lake and learn about where and how this remarkable geographic event took place. 

Find Coldwater Lake in the midst of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. While you’re here explore other destinations within the park. Stop at the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center at Silver Lake to learn about the volcano's history. At Johnston Ridge Observatory, located in the heart of the blast zone, see stunning views of the collapsed crater. Visit the gift shop, restaurant and informative exhibits at the Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center.

Hike along the “Birth of a Lake” interpretive trail. Along this path, learn how the volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens yielded a shimmering blue lake. The 0.5 mile-long (0.8-kilometer) wheelchair-accessible trail is a good option for hikers of all levels.

Enjoy a picnic along the shore. Use the park boat launch to gain lake access. Go fishing for rainbow and cutthroat trout. The Coldwater Lake Recreation Area is for day use only. For overnight camping, head to nearby Seaquest State Park. Fish, swim and boat on Silver Lake and sleep under the stars. 

Mount St. Helens is a popular destination for climbers. Before you scale its 8,363-foot (2,549-meter) peak, make sure that you’re properly outfitted and fully prepared for conditions on the still-active volcano. 

Amenities within the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument are quite limited. Drive to the town of Castle Rock, which is less than an hour away, for restaurants, shops and accommodations.


Best Lodging Options Near Coldwater Lake

See all 24 Properties near Coldwater Lake
Lone Fir Resort $126
Lone Fir Resort

Lone Fir Resort

16806 Lewis River Rd., Cougar, WA
     
    2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated in the mountains, this campground is within 16 mi (25 km) of Ape Caves, Marble Mountain Sno-Park, and Mount St. Helens. Climbers Bivouac Trailhead and Lava Canyon Trailhead are also within 20 mi (32 km).

    Lake Front Lodge on Lake Swift
    Lake Front Lodge on Lake Swift

    Lake Front Lodge on Lake Swift

    Stevenson, WA
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated on a lake, this romantic lodge is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Cascade Range and within 12 mi (20 km) of Mount St. Helens and Ape Caves. Marble Mountain Sno-Park and Gifford Pinchot National Forest are also within 12 mi (20 km).

      Gorgeous, Secluded Retreat With Hot Tub!!! $400
      Gorgeous, Secluded Retreat With Hot Tub!!!

      Gorgeous, Secluded Retreat With Hot Tub!!!

      Mossyrock, WA
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly Mossyrock vacation home is located in the mountains, 5.9 mi (9.6 km) from Mossyrock Park, and within 12 mi (20 km) of De Goede Bulb Farm & Gardens and Mayfield Lake. Ike Kinswa State Park is 10.9 mi (17.5 km) away.

        Seasons Motel $140
        Seasons Motel

        Seasons Motel

        200 Westlake Avenue, Morton, WA
           
          2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Morton, this motel is within a 10-minute walk of Veterans Wall of Honor and Morton Hospital. Gust Backstrom Park and Cascade Range are also within 1 mi (2 km).

          In the Heart of Cougar WA. Newly Remodeled. Previously Monfort's BNB
          In the Heart of Cougar WA. Newly Remodeled. Previously Monfort's BNB

          In the Heart of Cougar WA. Newly Remodeled. Previously Monfort's BNB

          Cougar, WA
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Cougar, this romantic vacation home is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Cascade Range and within 12 mi (20 km) of Ape Caves and Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Mount St. Helens and Marble Mountain Sno-Park are also within 16 mi (25 km).

            13+ Beds Heart of Cougar. Great Location / Accommodations for Large Family/grou
            13+ Beds Heart of Cougar. Great Location / Accommodations for Large Family/grou

            13+ Beds Heart of Cougar. Great Location / Accommodations for Large Family/grou

            Cougar, WA
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Cougar, this family-friendly vacation home is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Cascade Range, and within 12 mi (20 km) of Ape Caves and Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Mount St. Helens and Marble Mountain Sno-Park are also within 16 mi (25 km).

              Mountainside Hideaway Retreat With Spa
              Mountainside Hideaway Retreat With Spa

              Mountainside Hideaway Retreat With Spa

              Morton, WA
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Morton, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Gust Backstrom Park, Morton Hospital, and Veterans Wall of Honor. Cascade Range is 1.8 mi (2.8 km) away.

                Spectacular Lake View!
                Spectacular Lake View!

                Spectacular Lake View!

                Mossyrock, WA
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  This family-friendly Mossyrock vacation home is located on a river, 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Mayfield Lake, and within 9 mi (15 km) of De Goede Bulb Farm & Gardens and Ike Kinswa State Park. Mossyrock Park is 10.6 mi (17.1 km) away.