Mount Saint Helens Summit via Ptarmigan Trail is a 7.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Stevenson, WA that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.
A summit pass is required above the timberline, so get one and get your slog on! In the summer, a nice and tough hike. In the winter, a snowshoe/climb. All St. Helens trips start out at the Lone Fir Resort the night prior to hiking to pick up the permits. The weather forecast should be checked prior to climbing. It's best to start early morning at the climbers bivouc. The climb rises steadily as you go up in altitude. The wind and the altitude can affect many climbers but as with all physical activity being in shape to attempt this climb is a must. At the summit, you have amazing views as long as there are no clouds. glisading makes the trip much faster coming down as long as there is enough snow. Great trip overall. recommend climbing in spring or early summer right around the time that the Climbers Bivouc opens. Although strenuous, this non-technical climb is suitable for people in good physical condition who are comfortable scrambling on steep, rugged terrain. Most climbers complete the round trip in seven to twelve hours. While climbing to the crater rim is permitted, entry into the crater is strictly prohibited. Mount St. Helens is an active volcano in southwest Washington State and the central feature of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Mount St. Helens is a popular climb for both beginning and experienced mountaineers. Although people are able to climb Mount St. Helens year-round, late spring through early fall is the most popular season.
LOVED THIS HIKE! Permits are now bought online though, and can be printed out at home so no need to stop at the Lone Fir Resort. Ended up bringing too much water after reading the reviews here! It's a scramble on tough rock so bring warm gloves and/or gardening gloves (I brought both). We started our hike at 2AM and made it to the top to enjoy the sunrise. The wind was CRAZY at the top! But it was so beautiful! Bring layers and face layers (I had my buff and balaclava) because the dust and dirt get whipped around by the wind.
took us 3 hours to reach the summit. we did the full loop that is 10 miles . did a sunrise, started at 5 am and teacher the top at 8am . need to be in good shape to make it up without feeling burnt out
It took us (myself and my 12 year old daughter) just under 12 hours. It was cold and windy at the top but well worth it.
This was an amazing experience. Went up in May on Mother's Day, and everyone wore dresses, it's tradition. The mountain was still covered with snow in May, so we took ice ax, crampons, and boots. The views were amazing throughout the hike, especially at the top.
More about the hike here: http://northboundanddown.com/2016/05/09/mount-st-helens/
Difficult, but worth the incredible views. Bring lots of water.
Hard but rewarding
Attempted two times. First attempt we left too early in Spring. Lots of ice and snow on the rocks.
Only came close (less than 500') from summit. Altitude sickness prevented me from completing.
(Was living at 100' above sea level, Rancho Mirage, CA, at the time and could not acclimate to thin air)
Will return to finish after my great Rockies attempts! High star rating for the fact we were hiking on a volcano that erupted within 30 years of our attempt.
Incredible. Strenuous. Bring enough water and then bring some more.
Summit - unsuccessful. Overnight hike - grand success. We started from the lower parking area due to snow, so the first couple miles was just on the road. Toilets at the trailhead. Trail up to about 5000' was lovely. Very easy, sometimes a little difficult to spot the trail markers, but we never got lost. Overnighted at about 5200' (just above snow line at the time). One of our group wasn't feeling well in the morning, so we didn't make summit, but did get above snow line and got to use crampons. Fun, fun hike. Hiking pass is required if you go above 4800' and they are limited.
Looks like my post from May didn't go through. amazing hike, even with poor visibility and weather. Be better prepared for glissading than I was! Elevation and snow towards the end were killer, tracking poles would have helped a ton.
Challenging, but not as hard as I anticipated- especially if you go when there still snow on the mountain and you can glissade part of the way down! Amazing views!
This was a climb! Going up and coming down! Boulders and pumice. Absolutely exhausting! I saw couple people tap out but a majority made it. There was low clouds at the beginning but half way through monitor ridge it broke through. Saw Mt. Hood, Adams and for a bit, Jefferson! The top was clouded over, but the crator open for minute after waiting 10min. don't know if I would do it again. It was rough. But I'm happy to cross it off my list!
Great. The weather was horrible on top for July, gale force winds and freezing temperatures.
Amazing the clouds lifted in the crater as we summited. Spirit lake was beautiful.
absolutely amazing views!