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Harmony Falls

South Cascades

Location

South Cascades -- Mount St. Helens
View map below

Length

2.4 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 650 ft.
Highest Point: 4060 ft.

Rating

4.22 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2020
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
It is dangerous to enter Spirit Lake due to the log raft which moves unexpectedly. Please do not swim in the lake
 
 

The Harmony Trail used to lead to Harmony Falls and the Harmony Falls Lodge, but after the 1980 St. Helens eruption, the lodge and cabins were submerged under 125 feet of water. Fortunately though, the access trail survived, and this quiet trail is often passed by motorists heading to the popular Windy Ridge viewpoint. Pull over and enjoy this short but sometimes steep leg stretcher.

From the parking area, head around the low stone wall and follow the trail left, down the hill. (Ignore the washed out section to the right). Head straight into a green tunnel of alder, maple and ferns, kept for the most part away from the trail. But occasionally they do brush passing hikers on the head and shoulders.

About halfway down this slope is a small grotto, where the trail ducks under a rocky outcropping and past a small, trickling waterfall. A large log blocks the way here, but most should be able to negotiate it by climbing underneath it. Continuing down, the trail switchbacks once and the grade flattens as it plops you out onto ashy pumice.

From here the trail is quite wide, evidence of multiple hikers going along side by side. Signs here encourage hikers to keep to the already-wide trail, saying: “Give Plants a Break” and to stay on trail. Please do so; it’s easy enough for two or three hikers to hike side by side, and that’s plenty.

About a mile in, the trail turns right and narrows, dropping you into a small gully and putting you out right next to what remains of Harmony Falls. Do a small set of switchbacks down to a rocky outcropping where you can sit and enjoy the lake.

Note: Given the nature of the log raft, swimming in Spirit Lake is not allowed. Shifting lumber can be hazardous; best to stay to the shore and enjoy the view from there.

 

Harmony Falls

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.2745, -122.1042 Open map in new window

Trailhead

South Cascades -- Mount St. Helens

Harmony (#224)

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Mount St. Helens (Romano and Theisen – Mountaineers Books)

National Geographic Mount St. Helens Mount Adams Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Buy the Green Trails Mount St. Helens NVM No. 332S map

Getting There

From the north, drive I-5 to the exit 68 (for Highway 12 east), then drive 17 miles to Randle. From there, turn south (right, if coming from the west) onto State Route 131 south, and drive it for two miles to where it becomes Forest Road 25. Continue on this sometimes-rough road for 17.7 miles, and turn right onto FR 99. Drive Highway 99 for 14 miles to the trailhead for Harmony Falls Trail. 

To approach from the south (Woodland), take exit 21 from I-5 and drive Highway 503 east to Cougar (this is about 29 miles). SR 503 turns into FR 90, and you'll stay on it for 19 miles before turning left onto Forest Road 25. Drive FR 25 for 25 miles to the junction with Highway 99. Drive Highway 99 for 14 miles to the trailhead for Harmony Falls Trail. 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
It is dangerous to enter Spirit Lake due to the log raft which moves unexpectedly. Please do not swim in the lake
 

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Harmony Falls

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