Explore mt st helens - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

mt st helens Map
VIEW FULL MAP
hiking
8 days ago

Road closed 5 miles from the trailhead due to snow. But I am excited to go back in the Spring.

Awesome view! On a clear day 3 gorgeous mountains. Pitch dark when we headed back to parking lot, best place to do stargazing! Lots of shooting stars too.

hiking
12 days ago

Unique terrain created by the 80's eruption makes this a short and sweet loop hike.

hiking
18 days ago

Beautiful trail. Short and easy trail.

on Hummocks Trail

1 month ago

First, the directions through this app are wrong. It took me to a closed road. I found the trail by accident. It's right past Coldwater lake, on the left, right before the gate that they close to Johnston Ridge. Huge parking lot and no bathroom. There were 2 other cars in the lot but we didn't see anyone on the trail. Great views of Mt. St. Helens.

Hiked this trail in the spring/early summer of 2018 this is a beautiful trail. the water is gorgeous! plenty of creek crossings with no bridges. There are bathrooms here if you park at the lake parking area. I parked at south cold water trailhead and there are no bathrooms there. Didnt see a lot of people when I went, maybe less than 10 and there were also not a lot of bugs out at this time. I would highly recommend this trail. I do believe that no motorized boats are allowed on this lake. If you do the loop from south cold water you do have to hike back to the trail head on the highway for a mile or two, which can get busy later in the day. Trail can also be narrow and steep at times if you are doing the loop. You do need a northwest forrest pass or national parks pass to park in any areas where a pass is required.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a very beautiful hike! Easy to do but requires shoes with good traction. There is a section after the bridge that allows you to go down by the water but we were unable to venture down due to slippery conditions. Highly recommend this hike in summer/fall!!

This one is fun. Suspension bridges and ladders make it especially unique. Great views of waterfalls and cascades. I did the entire trail and as other reviews have said just be careful and know that you probably shouldn’t bring pets/children. At the split near the beginning of the trail I veered right and went over the bridge. I think this is the better route because you get great views of the falls on the way back up.
Here's a video of my experience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bF5ragxSIw8&t=4s

***After the 30 foot ladder but before the next bridge there is another smaller ladder that is somewhat hard to find. It leads to a short out/back trail on a ridge that pays off with extraordinary views.

Travelers note:
Forest pass: YES
Parking fee: $5 without forest pass
Travel time from Portland: about 2 hours
Driving conditions: road to the trailhead has a fair amount of potholes and such. Drive is possible in a car but probably better to have a vehicle with clearance.

hiking
2 months ago

Just a heads up. It's hunting season. Worth the $5 to buy an orange hunting vest so you don't get shot. Ran into a couple hunters who informed me of hunting season and let me borrow a vest. Better safe than sorry. Suspension bridge was awesome.

Great hike! We didn’t intend to do this one, but we were finished hiking Ape Caves and realized this was so close. The first two sections are pretty great...rather short...so totally doable. Parts were a little scary since it was so wet out. The bridge was quite frightening for someone who is afraid of heights. More than adequate amount of signage. I would recommend this hike when it is dry out. Gorgeous views. Did not attempt to hike the most difficult part, I read in forums that it’s quite dangerous when wet.

hiking
2 months ago

Gorgeous day, beautiful hike. The Johnston Observatory closes for the season in less than a week, so it wasn’t crowded at all. We only saw 10 other people on the trail today.

hiking
3 months ago

I e only ever done the very short part of this hike where we loop back after the suspension bridge but this time we decided to go right and continue on. I looked at the map and I saw where we could stay in the Lava Canyon trail by keeping left at the bridge. Once we hit SCOTT trail we took a little break over looking the river. We decided to go down SCOTT trail u til it met up with the upper part of Lava Canyon trail. It is t marked but you can see the trail to the left. Also I knew it was only .3 of a mile. They really should put signage there. The upper trail is all up! Looks like an old Forrest access road overgrown. But we had to take a couple short breaks to rest. It’s over 3 miles up. I believe we climbed about 1204 feet. I could definitely say no dogs past the suspension bridge and this is definitely rated HARD in my book. Scary at times. I am glad I did it.

Must do this trail. Awesome photo ops, wry exposed so bring water, sunscreen and your camera.

hiking
3 months ago

Absolutely beautiful!

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful trail. Amazing views of St. Helens pretty much the whole way. The trail is well marked except for one spot - take "Harry's Viewpoint" for the trail to the top of the ridge.

It was a bit of a challenge for being out of shape, but WELL worth it

hiking
3 months ago

This trail was beautiful with open and changing views the entire way.

The trail itself was clearly defined on the ground and by tall posts and signage. The terrain is smooth and you experience a few small inclines that most people can manage.

It is exposed to the elements so bring sunscreen/ hat, water, and a rain jacket.

Started this hike around 9:30am on a Sunday with very few other hikers.

Car park and visitor center was bustling around 12:30

hiking
4 months ago

Great loop good chance to see wildlife

Awesome views of Mount St. Helens! I didn’t make it all the way up to Harry’s ridge because it started raining and the clouds covered up Mount St. Helens. I’d love to go back on a clear day and try again. I highly recommend this trail!

on Lava Canyon Trail

4 months ago

Not for kids or dogs. Watch your footing as it gets very narrow in some spots. It was pouring rain when we went so we had to be extra cautious on the slopes and the ladder.

hiking
4 months ago

Very pretty views! Pretty difficult for a beginner or not having the proper shoes. Lots of ups and downs and a couple switch backs. So beautiful and well worth it.

hiking
4 months ago

This is a beautiful loop. Due to Helen's eruption in 1980, you can still see the damage/change done to the area; this makes for an ever-changing hike.

Blessed to make it out on a clear blue sky day. This path is right along the visitor center and features amazing views of Mount Saint Helens and the peak of Mount Adams.

trail running
4 months ago

Amazing views and mostly smooth trail with some moderate hills up and down. I only met two people on the whole thing. Not very busy, which was nice because the trail is pretty narrow.

cross country skiing
5 months ago

great

Almost didn’t do this trail but so happy I did. You think you’re getting the best view about a mile from the top but I promise the last push is worth it. From the summit, you have a great view of Helens, Hood, and Adams. Pretty exposed trail but the views are worth it.

This hike really impressed us. We were looking for something a little bit different than the usual mountain hikes were used to, so we decided to give this trail a try. We really enjoyed that the trail was unique, in that you’re quite literally traversing down a canyon adjacent to magnificent gushing water and waterfalls. We enjoyed the views most on the lower portion of the trail, and especially loved the ladders...just got a kick out of those! All in all, we loved it and would definitely do it again!

We did the loop and the only negative I found was having to walk along the street to get back to our car and that is why I gave it 4 stars instead w 5.

Fantastic trail

hiking
5 months ago

Fossil Trail 242: Gifford Pinchot Forest
13 August 2018
This is an overlooked hiker trail I can recommend – moderate difficulty for the first mile then easier. Well traveled by horses but no shoe prints or bike tracks today. With the temperature in the mid-90s this August hike was 95% in the cool shade of a moderate growth forest. The trail starts in the north end of the Kalama Horse camp – walk 100 yards and cross the FR 81 to the trail signpost. Begin at 2,200’ elevation. The first quarter-mile is relatively flat then joins an old caterpillar track and ascends 30° for a mile with a couple switchbacks – this is the steepest part of the whole trail. The second mile is easier at a 10° ascent and by mile 3 is level at 3500’ (highest elevation).
On the ascent and right side of the trail looms Goat Mountain (4,965 feet tall). It is NE of the trail and viewed from time to time through the trees. Essentially the trail follows The Fossil Creek Valley and contours around the western slope of Goat Mountain. There are no trails marked on the map for a Goat Mountain climb. Along the way the only opening in the forest are four avalanche chutes – easily traversed.
At mile 3.3 the trail enters the Mount Saint Helens Monument boundary and follows it in and out for a mile. It is here the trail descends to Goat Marsh Creek – the only water source. On this part of the trail, now traveling east, a few glimpses of MSH can be seen. The trail eventually joins up with Road 8123 and ends south of Blue Lake where the Blue Lake Trail and Toutle Trail can be accessed leading back to the Kalama Horse Camp; a 14-mile loop.
The quality of the forest makes this hike. Patches of moderate and old growth Nobel & Hemlock Fir, and Western Red Cedar marks this as a mature mixed forest. Many large trees are >4’ DBH and a couple >6’. The tread is entirely ash/pumice and in many places the trail needs brushing, berms knocked down, the trail widened, and limbs trimmed. Long pants and hiking poles are recommended. No ticks.
Wildlife: abundant bear and coyote scat, along with elk droppings.
A report on this trail by Tom Paulu Oct 2, 2014 (The Daily News) says the Forest Service opened the trail in 2003 and it was built by Backcountry Horsemen of Washington.

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked this trail 7/7. Did the lower section first, which should be rated hard. It is not for small children, dogs, or anyone fearful of heights. I am none of those things but there were a couple of places on the trail that sped up my heartbeat!

As noted by another reviewer, several people have died on this trail, I imagine they went beyond the many signs telling them to stay on the trail. We saw quite a few people doing just that the day we were there. The ladder is tall but very sturdy. However, there is one place one the trail that is quite skinny and you also have to step up a couple of feet. Yikes!

Turned around at the bridge and back up the way we came down, then did the easy loop across the suspension bridge. The water is beautiful.

Load More