11.8 miles
3,711 ft
-1,250 ft
1 mile
High Point

A healthy climb to a ridge with a stunning view of Saint Helens Lake, Spirit Lake and of course, Mount Saint Helens. A true gem

Detailed Description
Coldwater Boundary Out and Back is a 12 mile moderately popular expert route located near Cougar Washington. This mountain bike primary route and has a moderate overall physical rating. This route includes 3 trails. This route climbs 3,711 ft with a max elevation of 5,722 ft then descends -1,250 ft.
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Northwest Trail Alliance (nw-trail.org)
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3 Reviews & Comments

  • + 1
ckoont (Jul 26, 2022 at 11:01)
The explanation for this I have heard is that it is under the jurisdiction of the national monument from the Norway Pass Trailhead going West to Mt Margaret, Coldwater, etc so that is the reason for the discrepancy. The National Monument map is the correct one, the USFS says "hikers only from Bear Meadows West", and the "going west" would end at the national monument, or the Norway Pass Trealhead, and if you ask the USFS they'll refer you to the national monument for this section of trail. The section from Bear Meadow to the Norway Pass Trailhead not in the monument should be grayed out for hiking only.
  • + 1
JustinVP (Jul 28, 2021 at 16:42)
Another note: this is an out-and-back trail with hikers. Best to avoid busy weekend days.
  • + 3
JustinVP (Jul 28, 2021 at 16:40)
Rode from Norway Pass trail head to Mt. Margaret. This is quite possibly one of the most beautiful places I've been. Ever. The climbs on pumice are fairly hard, some limited pushing required, and bring more water than you normally would for what is a surprisingly physical 2500 ft climb. 100% worth it, but only when the views are out.

Note that some USFS sources say Boundary trail is closed to bikes between Norway Pass and Bear Camp. Others, such as this www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3843447.pdf
indicate that this trail is actually open to bikes from the Norway Pass all the way to Coldwater trail #230 (which makes way more sense). I prefer the pro-bike info, so that's what I'm following.


  • Riding area
  • Primary Activity
    Mountain Bike
  • Other Activities
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Route Type
    Out & Back
  • Bikepacking
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Physical rating
More Stats for Coldwater Boundary Out and Back mountain bike route
  • Altitude min
    2,543 ft
  • Altitude start
    2,543 ft
  • Altitude end
    5,003 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    8 miles
  • Distance down
    4 miles
  • Distance flat
    531 ft
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Trail Conditions
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  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
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  • Ideal
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Trail transparency
youtuber South Coldwater Trail to St. Helens Lake
South Coldwater Trail to St. Helens Lake
14:13 | 279 | comments: 0 | favs:
Jul 3, 2020
youtuber VOTR Coldwater Lake Loop
VOTR Coldwater Lake Loop
8:34 | 194 | comments: 0 | favs:
Jul 4, 2020

Recent Trail Reports Along Route

South Coldwater Trail
Jun 11, 2022 @ 6:14pm
Jun 11, 2022
Trail work last on 6/5 brushing back the vegetation.
Boundary Trail (Cold Creek to Norway Pass)
Sep 4, 2021 @ 8:17am
Sep 4, 2021
Some logs made it even harder, but well worth it for the views.
Coldwater Trail
Jul 9, 2021 @ 9:07am
Jul 9, 2021
Rode here 06 July 2021. Very loose in some areas which made climbing very difficult. Nothing a little Hike-a-bike can’t overcome. Several areas with steep northern exposure were overgrown with berry bushes. Rough climb but great downhill.
more reports »
  • By boxxerace TRAILFORKS EMBA J-GULCH & contributors
  • #13655 - 796 views