Location: South Cascades, Mt. St. Helens
Roundtrip: 2.4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate – Easy
Gain: 650 ft.
Harmony Falls is a short, moderately steep, trail that offers expansive views. You’ll traverse a lush hillside and cross a small field before making the final descent to Spirit Lake. The shore of the lake still contains the remains of trees that were snapped off the mountainside in the famous eruption.
You’ll have to make your way across the logs if you want to wade or swim in the water; be careful!
The water is cool and the view of the mountain from the end of the trail is spectacular. Harmony falls, on the other hand, was almost entirely buried when the lake level rose after the eruption. ‘Harmony Falls’ today is more like a short cascade of water as opposed to its previous impressive stature. That’s ok though, this hike is still very much worth the trek.
Are There Toilets? : There are vault toilets at a few trailheads along National Forest Road 99, but that does not include the Harmony Falls trailhead. If you need to use the bathroom stop at the Cascade Peaks viewpoint.
How about Picnic Tables? : Nope. You can eat at the car before heading down, pack in some lunch, or head down to the next viewpoint (Smith Creek).
Do I Need a Parking Pass? : Yes. You can use your Forest or Interagency Pass. If you don’t have one of those you can purchase a day pass for $5 from the Cascade Peaks viewpoint.
Are Dogs Allowed? : No. Pets are prohibited within the monument.
Can We Camp Here? : Campgrounds near this side of the monument include Iron Creek and Tower Rock, though they are a bit of a dive. There are no campgrounds within the monument itself.
When is the Best Time to Visit? : This area is closed in winter; check the area’s status here if you’re visiting late-season. Summer is the best time to visit.
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