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Silver Lake Wetland Haven Trail

Easy

Trail

0.7 mile 1.1 kilometer loop
Easy

Elevation

Ascent: 7' 2 m
Descent: -10' -3 m
High: 509' 155 m
Low: 499' 152 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 0% (0°)
Max Grade: 2% (1°)

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Trail shared by David Hitchcock

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A 3/4 mile trail through a wetland created by Mount St. Helens eruptions, with views of the mountain in the distance.

David Hitchcock

Features Lake · Views · Wildlife

The visitor center is open at varying times throughout the year, but the trail is open even if the visitor center is closed.

Description

The Mount St. Helens Visitor Center at Silver Lake is located 5 miles east of I-5 on 504. The visitor center is open year round, but the hours depending on the time of year. However, the trail appears to be open whether the visitor center is open or not. There are several parking lots for the visitor center that you can use.

The trail departs from the front of the visitor center and drops into the forest. After cutting back to the right, the trail forks and goes to the left or right. You can go either way as it is a loop, but for the purposes of this description, the trail goes off to the left. The trail is wide and gravel as it makes its way along the parking areas. Moving through the woods, the trail passes by a couple of small feeder streams that lead into Silver Lake. At roughly .3 miles, the trail emerges on a wooden boardwalk that goes out onto a part of the lake. From here, you can begin to see Mount Saint Helens off in the distance if it is clear. Lily pads and other water plant life are found on either side of the trail. Ducks and other water foul can be seen in the waters of the lake. There is a plaque commemorating the eruption and those who passed away in 1980.

The boardwalk ends on a jetty of land (which is an old timber railroad grade used to transport trees to the mills) that works its way back to the right and toward the visitor center. More of the lake is visible here, and lots of waterfowl can be seen here. There is a bench where you can sit and enjoy the views before making your way back to the visitor center. The trail follows the gravel path until it comes to another boardwalk that curves back to the right. After crossing the boardwalk, the trail forks again.

You can get to the back side of the visitor center if you take it to the left or if you go to the right, the trail will lead up to a circular viewpoint where you can overlook the lake and marshes. Continue straight until you get back to the fork and go to the left in order to get back to the trailhead where you started. There is a sign here that explains what is going on in the wetlands and how the area came about.

Flora & Fauna

There are many species of ducks and wetland creatures in Silver Lake, which the trail runs through. While some of the trail runs along the bank, it moves onto a boardwalk where you can see various types of lake plant life.

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Check-Ins

Aug 23, 2018
Starr Hullinger
Aug 22, 2018
Starr Hullinger
May 28, 2017
Emily Roeben
Clear day, great view of the mountain! We saw a Heron in the water, and a frog eating a bug. there was a kayak padding through the wetlands.
May 5, 2017
Andrey Matveev
Nov 26, 2016
David Hitchcock
Views of Mount St. Helens today. Ducks swimming in the lake. 0.8mi
Nov 23, 2016
David Hitchcock
Even though the visitor center was closed, the trail was open and a nice break from travel. 0.8mi

Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 4 votes

#19216

Overall
  3.3 from 4 votes
5 Star
0%
4 Star
25%
3 Star
75%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#977

in Washington

#19,216

Overall
9 Views Last Month
543 Since Nov 27, 2016
Easy

75%
25%
0%
0%
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Photos

Enjoy gorgeous views of Mt. St. Helens on a clear day over the wetlands.
Jun 2, 2017 near Castle…, WA
Mount St. Helens sits off in the distance and can be viewed on clearer days.
Nov 27, 2016 near Castle…, WA
A bench overlooking the lake sits off to the side of the gravel trail.
Nov 27, 2016 near Castle…, WA
A view out over Silver Lake and the marshes created by the eruption.
Nov 27, 2016 near Castle…, WA
The trail as it winds along the shore. It's a gravel trail until it moves onto the boardwalk.
Nov 27, 2016 near Castle…, WA
The trail emerges on the boardwalk where you can see ducks and other wildlife.
Nov 27, 2016 near Castle…, WA

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