Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Hiking Guide Seaquest State Park - Silver Lake

Seaquest State Park - Silver Lake

South Cascades

Location

South Cascades -- Mount St. Helens
View map below

Length

3.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 100 ft.
Highest Point: 4390 ft.

Rating

2.20 out of 5

(5 votes) Log in to rate
 
WTA worked here: 2019
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 
 

Whether you’re looking for an easy forest walk, a barrier-free loop trail, or a longer, more rugged ramble, this sweet little state park has you covered.

If it’s the barrier-free loop you’re after, take the exit off Hwy 504 for the Seaquest State Park Visitors Center. Drive through the first large parking lot and park in the second large lot. The trail is marked by a large kiosk with information about wildlife in the area and a map of the route that the trail takes through the lush marshy Silver Lake.

The graveled trail is almost totally flat, descending about five feet from the parking lot via a gentle switchback on the west end of the loop before becoming boardwalk.

Mount St. Helens is visible from most of the trail, commanding the vista despite—or perhaps because of—her imperfect summit. Wildlife abounds here, even in winter, and the boardwalk and raised trail that carries you through Silver Lake puts you up close and personal with the flora and fauna supported by this huge lake–-one of the largest ecosystems of its kind in the western United States. Kids will love this easy hike, and, when open, the visitors center makes an excellent supplement to your outside explorations.

If the mile-long loop wasn’t quite enough for your venturesome self, take the tunnel under the road and the trail up into the camping and day-use area. There is a maze of trails here, offering everything from a quarter-mile loop around the campgrounds to a mile-long perimeter hike of the forest to the north of the campgrounds and yurts.

The trails here are easy enough to follow, if somewhat poorly signed, so be sure you have a map of your own, or plenty of time for doubling back. Towards the far reaches of the trail system, the trails cross several small creeks and incorporate stairs and short, steep climbs, making for a more rugged experience.

WTA Pro Tip: If some of your party is keen to explore the trails but others don’t want to make the trek, a playground at the center of the campground makes a great meeting spot.

 

Seaquest State Park - Silver Lake

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.2959, -122.8176 Open map in new window

Trailhead

South Cascades -- Mount St. Helens

Washington State Parks

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: South Cascades (Nelson - Mountaineers Books)

Seaquest State Park map

Getting There

From I-5 take exit 49 for Castle Rock and drive 5 miles east on Highway 504. Seaquest State Park is on the left side of the highway, but the barrier-free Silver Lake trail can be accessed from the visitor/day-use parking area on the righthand side of the road. Trails for the forest walks can be found up on the lefthand side of the road, up the hill and near the day-use picnic area.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Discover Pass
 

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

Seaquest State Park - Silver Lake

22 Trip Reports

Hiked here recently?

Submit a trip report!
 
Trip Reports