Coldwater Lake Picnic and Boating Site
Coldwater Lake Recreation Area is located 45 miles east of Castle Rock in the heart of the blast zone near the Science and Learning Center at Coldwater and Johnston Ridge Observatory. Experience the effect the May 18, 1980 eruption had on the Coldwater Valley, including creating a brand new lake. Kayaking is popular here. Combustion engines are prohibited on the lake, but anglers reach trophy trout by electric motors, rowing, or kicking. See Restrictions section.
The 0.6 miles accessible Birth of a Lake Interpretive Trail allows visitors to enjoy close up views of Coldwater Lake.
Accessible Adventures Video
At a Glance
|Current Conditions:||11/21/2023: Coldwater Lake is open. State Route 504 is gated at the winter gate just beyond the Hummocks Trailhead.|
|Closest Towns:||Castle Rock, WA, Toutle, WA|
|Passes:||No passes currently required for use. See Mount St. Helens Map for fee and payment sites.|
|Operated By:||Forest Service|
From Castle Rock, drive State Route 504 east 43 miles. Stay right where State Route 504 forks towards the Johnston Ridge Observatory. Continue for 1 mile, turn left at Coldwater Lake.
Map showing recreational areas. Map Information
Lake and Pond FishingRecreation areas with activity Lake and Pond Fishing:
Day HikingRecreation areas with activity Day Hiking:
Interpretive AreasRecreation areas with activity Interpretive Areas:
PicnickingRecreation areas with activity Picnicking:
Several picnic tables scattered near the parking area.