June Lake

  • Easy (to June Lake)
  • 2.6 miles round trip
  • 410 feet elevation gain
  • Open June to mid-November
  • Use: hikers, bicycles


  • Moderate (to Chocolate Falls)
  • 5.8 miles round trip
  • 1100 feet elevation gain
  • Open late June through October

The forests on this southern side of Mt. St. Helens weren’t hurt by the 1980 eruption, but if you stroll through the woods to June Lake’s 40-foot waterfall you’ll see other proof that you’re on a volcano. A volcanic mudflow created the lake itself about a century ago, and the waterfall drops off the edge of an ancient lava field. If you continue up to Chocolate Falls, you’ll scramble across fresh-looking lava to a stripped-out gorge where an ash-choked waterfall sometimes runs as dark as chocolate milk.

Start by driving Interstate …

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For a longer hike, continue as far as …

This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Northwest Oregon & Southwest Washington.

Chocolate Falls