Posted By Toutle Trekker

May 4, 2022

The mid-April snow that the region received is going to have long term effects on hiking at higher elevations this spring, and possibly summer.  There is significant snow about 3500 feet, covering all the higher trails, including the trails at Johnston Ridge.  Drifts are still three or four feet deep along the highway at Elk Rock!  

The Spirit Lake Highway has been recently plowed and opened to the Johnston Ridge area, but visitor centers at Johnston Ridge and at Seaquest are still closed. The Coldwater Ridge Science and Learning Center is open to the public on weekends.  Additionally, Harry Gardner Park reopened to camping on April 11, and the South Toutle Bridge is open to all traffic.  Tower Road remains washed out near Hollywood Gorge. 

Trails:  I hiked up South Coldwater to the logging equipment.  The trail is snow free to that point, with intermittent snow the next half mile.  After that, the trail is snow covered with large drifts and quite a few broken and bent alders.  The Boundry Trail up from the Hummocks Trail is clear of snow to the top of ridge, with heavy drifts past the creek.  Trails at Johnston Ridge are covered with large drifts and won't be ready for hiking for awhile.  The trails along Coldwater Lake and the Hummocks Trail loop are snow free.

Earlier this year, Drew's Grocery caught fire and was severly damaged.   This family-owned business has been the heart of Toutle for nearly 85 years.  The store is closed, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.  The new building going up is a Red Leaf Coffee.  Currently, fuel is not available in Toutle or Kid Valley.  For travelers, you must fill up in Toledo or Castle Rock before heading up toward Mount St. Helens.  

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