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Dark Meadows

South Cascades


South Cascades -- Dark Divide
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6.4 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 1700 ft.
Highest Point: 4200 ft.


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This rugged trail in the Dark Divide is part of a large network of trails that offer miles of wandering in the forests between Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams.

Dark Meadow Trail begins on Forest Road 23, then crosses East Canyon Creek. It passes through Douglas fir and Western Hemlock, before crossing Dark Creek (at mile 1.5), and climbing steeply toward the Dark Meadows area and Juniper Ridge Trail. 

History of the Area: This trail is named after John Dark (who is also the namesake for the area in general, known as the Dark Divide). in 1985, Dark built a cabin in these meadows while prospecting here. Geologically speaking, this is a fascinating area. Take a look at the huge boulders in Dark Creek as you're hiking. They were deposited by melting glaciers.


Dark Meadows

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.3108, -121.7314 Open map in new window


South Cascades -- Dark Divide

Dark Meadows (#263)

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Cowlitz Valley Ranger District

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Getting There

From Randle, drive south on Highway 131. Turn left in 1 mile at the Y of Forest Road 23 and Forest Road 25. Follow Forest Road 23 about 22.5 miles; the trail is off Forest Road 23.

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Dark Meadows

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