Hike 90
The Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Mt. Margaret from Johnston Ridge Hike
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THE FOLLOWING MAP IS NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATIONAL PURPOSES.
Map of the Mt. Margaret via Johnston Ridge

Length: 16 mi RT
Elevation Change: 2600' gain
Season: Summer thru Fall
Difficulty:    Very Difficult
Permit:
Observatory Pass Required


Features:

This is a long but rewarding approach to Mount Margaret. The hike begins at the Johnston Observatory on Johnston Ridge. Keep in mind that if you choose to hike from this location, you may need a permit to park in the Observatory parking area.

The hike follows the Boundary trail from the Johnston Ridge Observatory all the way to Mount Margaret. This is the same route to Harry's Ridge, and Coldwater Peak. So, the description is identical up to the point where the Boundary Trail leaves the junction to Coldwater Peak.

From that junction to Mount Margaret the trail winds its way across the volcanic barren landscape past what is called The Dome. This is a large rock outcropping which is a destination in itself.

As the trail circles to the north of St. Helens Lake, you get great vistas looking back toward Mt. St. Helens and Coldwater Peak. Then eventually, the trail breaks over the ridge so you can see Mt. Whittier and Mt. Rainier rising up behind Mt. Whittier.

In season this trail is surrounded by a great diversity of wildflowers which add to the joy of this adventure. From the summit of Mount Margaret you can see Mt. Rainier to the north, the Goat Rocks to the northeast, Mt. Adams to the east, Mt. Hood to the southeast and Mt. St. Helens directly south, as it rises above Spirit Lake.



Mt. Margaret and Mt. Adams
Mt. Margaret and Mt. Adams from the Boundary Trail
How to get there:

From Seattle, WA
Drive south on I-5 to the junction of State Road 504. Exit the freeway, and turn left (east) onto SR504 and follow it east. At five miles you will pass the Silver Lake Visitor Center and in another 38 miles you will come to the junction to SR504 E. Bear right onto SR504 East and follow it another 8 miles to the Johnston Ridge Observatory.
(closed in winter)

From Portland, OR
Drive north on I-5 to the junction of Washington State Road 504. Exit the freeway, and turn right (east) onto SR504 and follow it east. At five miles you will pass the Silver Lake Visitor Center and in another 38 miles you will come to the junction to SR504 E. Bear right onto SR504 East and follow it another 8 miles to the Johnston Ridge Observatory.
(closed in winter)



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