Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

Coldwater Lake
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Coldwater Lake Recreation Area
Located just east of Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center, the Coldwater Lake Recreation Area opened for the first time on March 28, 1994. Visitors to the lake can now enjoy a beautiful close-up view of the lake and surrounding peaks with Mount St. Helens standing in the distance. Birds can be seen and heard all around while fish surface in the waters nearby.

This beautiful area offers a variety of recreation opportunities, including picnic facilities, a boardwalk interpretive trail, a small "Discovery Area," and a boat launch. Restrooms, a fish cleaning station, and a pet area are also provided. These lake facilities can be reached by driving 2 miles east on State Highway 504 from the Coldwater Ridge Visitor Center.

Please Remember:

  • This is a Day Use Area only. Camping is not permitted!
  • Pets must be kept on a leash and are permitted only in the designated pet area, located just south of the picnic area.
  • Since plants "grow by the inch and die by the foot," stay on the trails and hard surfaced plaza areas.
  • The boat launch is for launching and landing of watercraft only.
  • Fishing and swimming are not allowed in the boat launch area. The "Birth of a Lake" trail is an interpretive trail for viewing wildlife and the natural features of the area.
  • Fishing and swimming are NOT permitted from this trail.

Fishing Coldwater Lake
Coldwater Lake offers a "Selective Fishery" program which will provide quality fishing opportunities far into the future. Care has been taken to allow access and minimize impact to the fragile shoreline. The air is clean, the water unpolluted. Four-year-old trout have spawned. The fish are big, the views are spectacular, and your experience should be, too. When fishing this beautiful lake, remember the following regulations:

  • Only artificial flies or lures with a single, barbless hook are allowed. Bait is prohibited.
  • There is a one fish limit per person, per day. Minimum size is 16".
  • Shoreline fishing is allowed only from the three designated shoreline access points (see info display for locations at boat launch).
  • When fishing from watercraft, landing of craft is permitted only at the three designated shoreline access points.
  • Fishing is NOT permitted along the Birth of a Lake Interpretive Trail or from the boat dock.
  • A valid Washington State fishing license is required.
  • Life jackets are required for each individual on board. Have a safe and enjoyable day while fishing Coldwater Lake.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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