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Hummocks Trail

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The Hummocks are massive mounds of rock, ash, and mud that were piled unceremoniously around the floor of the new Coldwater Lake valley by the mighty blow. But these aren't just piles of rubble. Some of the hummocks tower 500 feet into the air and cover a once-grand ancient forest.

The loop trail weaves among the hummocks and the small catch-basin ponds that dot the landscape around the mounds. The Hummocks Trail features a lot of rolling up and down, but no serious, committed elevation changes.

Doing the route clockwise puts you on the pool side of the loop right off the bat. Most of the small ponds are on the northern side, near the trailhead, so you'll skirt a handful of them, with St. Helens herself looming on the horizon straight ahead.

After about 0.75 mile, you'll swing west toward the North Fork Toutle River, and then loosely follow the river's course for another mile or so, weaving through a mixed bag of obstacles. Besides the hulks of the hummocks near the river, there are marshy bogs to avoid, and interwoven stream channels to be aware of.

This section of the hummocks shows great vitality. Life is booming here, as birds and bees fill the air, elk can frequently be found browsing on the lush grasses, and birds of prey overhead give testament to the fact that small land mammals are thriving, too (if there were no rodents to eat, the big raptors wouldn't waste their time here).

Closing this clockwise loop, you come out facing Coldwater Lake (just around the highway from this loop trail).
Driving Directions:

From Castle Rock, drive about 43 miles east on Highway 504 to the Coldwater Visitor Center and continue 2.2 miles south toward Johnston Ridge. At the bottom of the hill, turn right into the Hummocks trailhead parking area.

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

Recent Trip Reports

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There are 24 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Boundary West, Hummocks Trail — Apr 10, 2014 — Niko Niko
Day hike
Issues: Mud/Rockslide | Snow on trail
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I wasn't sure what things would be like up at Mount St. Helen's today - whether there would be snow ...
I wasn't sure what things would be like up at Mount St. Helen's today - whether there would be snow everywhere or what trails were accessible. I planned on going up and exploring and that's what I did :)

I parked at the Hummocks trailhead since the road to Johnston Ridge is closed just after that turnoff. I started up and took the turn for Boundary Trail to head up towards Johnston Ridge. There were a couple damp spots but nothing too crazy, though the mosquitoes will probably love the water around the hummocks soon. No bugs out yet though.

I only ran into about three small patches of snow before hitting Johnston Ridge Observatory. About a mile from the observatory, I passed a section of trail where a rock slide had occurred. It was pretty small and easy to get around, but be careful of those rocks moving again. A picture is included of the section of trail.

I decided to continue on towards what I think is the Truman Trail. I will include a map marking my path in the pictures. I crossed a slope that has a sign warning for falling rocks and such, and I can totally understand how that'll be possible - I sure crossed it quickly :) I got to see Spirit Lake and then turned back for my car.

Coldwater Lake campgrounds and bathrooms were open (yay!) Not sure when we can drive up to Johnston Ridge, but if you want to go up, the hike is a great detour. I highly recommend it!
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Hummocks Trail — Jul 16, 2013 — licknbarb
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
Issues: Overgrown | Bugs
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Great hike! Not very difficult terrain. A few annoying flies....
Great hike! Not very difficult terrain. A few annoying flies.
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Hummocks Trail — May 25, 2013 — Brad815
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
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Green rolling hills and a few small lakes and streams. At one point you'll have a view of the river...
Green rolling hills and a few small lakes and streams. At one point you'll have a view of the river and surrounding mountains, which is one of the best views I've ever seen. Bring sunblock since the majority is open area rather than thick forest. Large groups of people started hitting this trail around 1pm, so if you're looking for solitude get an early start.
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Hummocks Trail — Aug 10, 2012 — MountainRunner
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
Issues: Bugs
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This was a very pleasant hike, especially having a 7 and 2 year old with us. My 2 year old was able ...
This was a very pleasant hike, especially having a 7 and 2 year old with us. My 2 year old was able to hike just about the entire loop by himself, so that says a lot about the difficulty level of this trail, although there were parts we had to watch him/hold his hand so he didn't get near the edge of some short steep sides of the trail. Once you near the river, you get a great photo op of the volcano.
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Hummocks Trail — Jul 12, 2012 — hv_hrt_wll_trvl
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
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With the previous report we readied ourselves for the mass amounts of caterpillars. Yes they were st...
With the previous report we readied ourselves for the mass amounts of caterpillars. Yes they were still there, but for the most part tapered off and a non-issue. The alder trees are covered in their nests and you will still find them here and there. Trail was in great shape and the kids saw lots of dragon flies, frogs, and evidence of beavers. (den on the far side of the pond and many trees chopped down via the Beaver. No bugs really to mention. The wild flowers are in full bloom and so are the dandelions. My 5,7, and 10 yr old loved it though the 3 1/2 yr old in our party started to tire near the end.
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Hummocks Toutle.jpg
The View from the Hummocks Trail - Jon Stier
Location
Hummocks (#229)
South Cascades -- Mt. St. Helens
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Statistics
Roundtrip 2.3 miles
Elevation Gain 100 ft
Highest Point 2500 ft
Features
Rivers
Wildflowers/Meadows
Mountain views
Wildlife
User info
Good for kids
Dogs not allowed
No pass or permit required
Guidebooks & Maps
Day Hiking - South Cascades by Dan A. Nelson, photography by Alan L. Bauer, The Mountaineers Books
Hiking Guide to Washington Geology (Carson / Babcock - Keokee) p. 160-162
Green Trails No. 332 Spirit Lake

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

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Red MarkerHummocks Trail
46.28685 -122.2717
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