Coldwater Lake//Mount Saint Helens November 2017
*Hint* It was cold.
November 12th 2017
It was one of those days where I had pretty much nothing going on and I felt the urge to go outside-despite the weather looking god awful. I had slept in that morning and didn't leave my apartment until about 10 am. Having a late start I knew I couldn't do anything too crazy, but me being me I said screw it and drove almost two hours to Coldwater Lake over in the Mount Saint Helens Monument area. It's pretty late in the year and around now pretty much everywhere in the higher elevations is covered in snow. I took a look online for the road conditions and it had said (and lied) that it would be snowy and icy. So I got super excited that I was going to see snow and stuffed my winter wear into my car.
After my taco bell/gas/grocery run I realized I was running short on time. I got there around 12:45ish. The hike around this lake isn't exactly a short one. It's definitely doable in a day, but not when you're slow like me and want to get out of there before nightfall. According to my little handheld gps I did a little more than 6 miles. I went in about 3 and then turned right back around because it was 2:30 at this point and I'm afraid of the dark. I was moving really slowly. I took around 600 photos and sat on one of the millions of benches off the trail to eat lunch. At the point that I turned around I was freezing. I wasn't moving quickly and I left my heavier layers in the car when I realized I wasn't going to get to hike in the snow. It was lightly raining off and on and I wasn't smart enough to put my rain jacket on right away. Don't be me. Anywho I got back to my car pretty quickly after putting the camera away and was greeted by one of the most glorious rainbows I had ever seen when I was just about near the parking lot. I didn't quite get it in a full force because I did not run quickly enough to get to the view point I wanted.
Overall I can't complain. I left pretty late in the day, chose somewhere far away and chose a trail that I knew I wouldn't be able to complete. I will be back though at some point to do the whole thing. (Future snowshoe trip anyone?) And for those of you who don't like hiking, there's a nice little walkway with interpretative signs about the area. Plus it's a good stop on the way up the the observatory if you're just going up to look at the crater. Here's a link to the hike. And I'll put up the map for the location at the bottom.