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June Lake Snowshoe

 June Lake Snowshoe


The June Lake Trail is a beautiful hike any time of year, but exploring the trail on snowshoes, with the deep old forest, wide lake basin, and crashing waterfall all swaddled in a blanket of white, is the only way to enjoy the truly wild nature of the area. The trail is a gentle path through the woods, and snowshoers of all ages and abilities will appreciate and enjoy the remarkable beauty of the route.



Located on the south side of the big volcano, this trail doesn't delve into the blast zone, nor does the scenery make snowshoers think about the volcanic nature of the area. Indeed, if the eruption of 1980 comes to mind, it's usually in the context of "I can't believe an area this beautiful survived such a big eruption." The Mount St. Helens summit is visible along the trail to the lake, but looking up at the south flank of the mountain, with its snowy mantle of winter, it looks like just another big, beautiful peak. And June Lake is such a remarkable setting that it doesn't need the powerful imagery of the eruption to make it a wonderful snowshoeing destination.



From the Sno-Park, snowshoe north from the upper parking lot on the well-signed Pine Marten Trail No. 245E. This trail, which is often groomed for skiers, parallels the road, but it is off-limits to snowmobiles. (You can also hike up the road to the June Lake trailhead, but it is often crowded with speeding snowmobiles.) The trail heads north for 0.75 mile, and then hooks right (east) and dips down to join the road at 1 mile. After using the road bridge to cross the wide Lake Creek, turn left and snowshoe into the large parking area of the well-marked June Lake trailhead.



The trail leaves the north end of the broad lot and crosses a large meadow in full view of Mount St. Helens. The open, treeless slopes are painted stark white by the drifting snow, and most weekends when the weather is clear, snowshoers on the June Lake Trail can watch snowshoers and skiers climbing the Monitor Ridge route (see Route 97) to the summit of the volcano.


The trail stays well above Lake Creek as it climbs gradually through a few stands of second-growth forest and open clearcuts before finally crossing into the protected national monument at 2.4 miles. The last few hundred yards of trail dip steeply down to cross the creek on a wide bridge before rolling north to the shore of June Lake. Across the lake, on the right, is a waterfall cascading down through a curtain of interlaced icicles. The wide bench at the lakeshore makes a wonderful picnic spot with its spectacular views.


Please contribute  $15.00 gas money to your driver and bring bag for wet boots.

Equipment recommended: 10 essentials, Snowshoes, Trekking poles, Gaiters , Warm clothing and warm gloves, Lunch/snacks/water 


Disclaimer: We will be in the wilderness. Serious injury or death can occur. We are not professional guides nor do we claim to be experts.  It is not our responsibility to get you to the listed destination. We hike at our own pace.  By attending this hike you are assuming responsibility for your own personal safety and we will not be held responsible.



Driving Directions:

To get there, from Woodland drive east on State Route 503 to the community of Cougar and continue east another 7 miles to a junction with Forest Road 83. Turn left (north) onto FR 83, and drive 5.8 miles to the Marble Mountain Sno-Park at the end of the plowed road. Small maps of the local winter trails are generally available in the kiosk inside the warming hut at the Sno-Park.

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  • Charlotte S.

    great day, beautiful weather.

    January 26, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I actually can't make it unfortunately due to an employee calling in sick. As a business owner I have a schedule that can change at a moments notice

    January 24, 2014

  • Monica L

    I'm from Chehalis, Is there a possibility of carpooling with someone in this area, or someone willing to stop on your way south :):)

    January 19, 2014

    • greg

      *from Olympia

      January 23, 2014

    • Monica L

      Thanks Greg for the offer... but I now have to work.. you folks should have a fantastic day ahead!

      January 23, 2014

  • Monica L

    Called in to work... very sad to miss this!!! great day ahead

    January 23, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Myself and girlfriend will drive.

    January 23, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I see there's only one spot left. As I am 1/2 of a couple, I'm curious if we both could attend. I can drive and have an extra seat available if this would help

    January 23, 2014

    • Maryjane

      Yes and thank you!

      January 23, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Azar, are you driving?

    January 23, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm in Olympia - anyone else? Could the carpools stop at the Martin Way Park and Ride on the way down?

    January 20, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'm looking for a ride and am willing to meet - seems like the Martin Way P&R is good!? What do you think?

      January 21, 2014

    • greg

      I'm also looking to carpool from Olympia if anyone has room for one more

      January 21, 2014

  • Maryjane

    Need 2 more drivers for this event!

    January 20, 2014

  • azar

    I have read and will abide by the guidelines.

    January 20, 2014

  • Monica L

    Plus one!

    January 12, 2014

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