Posted By Toutle Trekker

June 26, 2022

 Johnston Ridge Observatory is open with an entrance fee, and the ridge trails are melted out.  Coldwaer Peak Trail is still snow covered.  The Forest Learning Center is open.  The Coldwater Ridge Science and Learning Center is supposed to be open to the public on weekends (supposed to is the key here).  The Mount St. Helens Visitor Center at Seaquest State Park is open 9 am to 4 pm.  Admission is $5 for adults and $2.50 for children.   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:   A group of us hiked the South Coldwater to Lakes Trail June 6 (out the boat launch) loop.  The Lakes Trail was brushed out this past week to about a mile past the bridge (toward Snow Lake).  The South Coldwater Trail is brushed out all the way past the logging equipment and part way down toward the lake on the other side.  The gap that isn't brushed out requires some ducking and weaving below between logs and low hanging trees.  There were lots of birds to see in the willowy ponds at the end of the lake.   Be aware there is a black bear that has been roaming around on the ridge, digging into ant nests.  I've seen it once this spring, and watched it for a half hour.   All higher elevation trails (Mount Margaret, Loowit Trail, Tumwater,  Deadman's) are buried in snow. On June 25 I hiked to Deadman's Lake from the Lander's Creek (Weyerhaeuser controlled) trailhead.  There were drifts at the trailhead, but the first hill was melted.  Above about 4700 feet, the trail was snow covered with drifts up to 6 feet deep!  The lake is melted out and the campsites are open.  Blow down was minimal but snow was similar to mid-May (not late June).  Consequently, because of heavy snow melt, the rivers are still ice cold and/or milky.

Services: Earlier this year, Drew's Grocery caught fire and was severely damaged.   This family-owned business has been the heart of Toutle for nearly 85 years.  The store is closed, but the family is has put in a double wide that will soon be a mini store (but not yet).  The other new building going up is a Red Leaf Coffee.  FUEL IS NOW AVAILABLE .  Pay at pump and open 24-hours.  Fire Mountain Grill at 19 Mile House and North Fork Survivors are open for the season. 

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