Worm Flows Trail is a 9.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Cougar, WA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
The Worm Flows Climbing Route, from Marble Mountain Snow-Park, is the most direct route to the summit of Mount St. Helens during the winter season. Ice axe, crampons, and avalanche awareness are recommended on this route. Skis with climbing skins or snow shoes with cleats are also highly recommended. From the Marble Mountain Sno-Park use the Swift Ski Trail, #244 to reach timberline. Cross to the west side of Swift Creek, just above Chocolate Falls (elev. 3,700'). Follow ridges and open slopes to the crater rim. Wooden route marking posts guide climbers from timberline to approximately 4,800' elevation. Round trip is approximately 12 miles, Round trip time is approximately 7 to 10 hours. To reduce your exposure to avalanche potential, stay away from snow loaded slopes and gully bottoms. Stay off the cornices at the crater rim
Love this trail!
14 May 2016
Plenty of snow still! Started to rain on us a little on the way out, but it was still an amazing hike. One of the best I've ever done!
We climbed on a beautiful spring day, and had a blast. Snowshoes were necessary from the sno-park (for which you'll need a permit) until we got high enough for the snow to turn icy. From there we used yaktrax/ice trekkers. Full crampons wouldn't really have helped, but we saw many people wearing them.
We glissaded down from the rim to the ridge around 4800 feet, which was a blast, but it didn't help our jealousy for all the skiers and snowboarders. I imagine that activity can get pretty hairy, but it was a perfect day for it when we were there.
We took it relatively slow and were back to the car 10 and a half hours later.
CHECK THE WEATHER. We had a beautiful day, but it's still a mountain in winter-ish conditions and things could have been much worse.
Always check current conditions before doing this climb. http://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Mount-Saint-Helens/forecasts/2549. Wasn't not able to make the summit due to adverse conditions. Everyone I meet on the mountain turned around also about the weather station (around 6500 ft). Not much snow right now. Skiers and boarders had a hard time coming down with all the rocks. You can still glissade parts of it though. Climbing permits are free during the winter, you just need a Sno-Park parking pass. You start at Marble Mountain Sno-Park (2700 ft). We camped by chocolate falls (4800 ft) and attempted the summit the next day. We used snow shoes on the way up and glissaded down. Ice axe highly recommended and with show shoes or crampons.
Awesome hike check current snow conditions and bring crampons if necessary. we did this in trail shoes with out crampons in snow on May25 and it was slick. would of been a lot easier with crampons and sticks or axe. totally spectacular view of Rainer Adams and hood I think. sliding down in the snow in rain pants was a quick and fun way Down