#3 of 103 national parks in United States of America

Best bird watching trails in Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington

2,988 Reviews
Explore the most popular bird watching trails in Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of bird watching trails in Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington
Park information
Acreage:
110,000 acres
Contact
360-449-7800
Helpful links
Top trails (18)
#1 - Mount Saint Helens Summit via Ptarmigan Trail
Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(1209)
Length: 8.2 mi • Est. 6 h 24 m
Note: There is a $5 fee to park at the trailhead. Other passes include: America the beautiful ($80/yr), Northwest Forest ($30/yr) A summit/climbing pass is required above the timberline, so get one and get your slog on! In the summer, this is a nice and tough hike. In the winter, it can be turned into a snowshoe/climbing route. Permits are now obtained online. There are 2 primary routes: the "summer" (Monitor Ridge) route starts at the Climber's Bivouac trailhead. The "winter" (Worm Flows) route trailhead is at Marble Mountain Sno-Park. 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. The weather forecast should be checked prior to climbing. It's best to start very early in the morning for either route. Both climbs rise 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 these climbs is a must. At the summit, you have amazing views as long as there are no clouds. Glissading makes the trip much faster coming down as long if there is enough snow. Here is a site to check weather conditions: http://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Mount-Saint-Helens/forecasts/2549 It's highly recommendable climbing in spring or early summer right around the time that the Climber's Bivouac opens. The Worms Flows (Marble Mountain Sno-Park) is an option if winter snows have made Climber's Bivouac inaccessible. Although strenuous, both of these non-technical climbing routes are 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. Show more
#2 - Harry's Ridge Trail
Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument
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Length: 7.8 mi • Est. 4 h 12 m
Get a panoramic view of the devastation from the Mt. St. Helen's Crater, to Spirit lake and beyond. Not to be missed! This is an incredible route for getting a sense of the total devastation from the 1980 eruption. You'll hike with the crater in front of you or on your right most the way, then turn towards the east mountains as you make your way to Harry's Ridge. From Harry's Ridge you'll view the crater, Spirit Lake with logs from the eruption still sliding across the lake back and forth with the wind, and on up towards the furthest parts of the damage. Along the way, in the right season, you'll find berries and wildlife. If you're lucky, you'll return as the Elk head off the mountain into the valley to feed and rest for the night - they'll be on your right most the way back. $8/person day use fee that can be paid inside the Johnston Ridge Observatory (the start of the trail).Show more
#3 - Ape Canyon Trail
Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument
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Length: 11 mi • Est. 5 h 16 m
This is an incredible trail. Safe to say there is nothing quite like this anywhere in the states. You climb through a forest that somehow survived the blast of St. Helens with views getting better and better the farther you climb. Then, you pop out of the woods and begin traversing the Plains of Abraham.Show more
#4 - Loowit Falls Trail
Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument
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Length: 8.1 mi • Est. 4 h 3 m
The first part is a walk along a forest road (closed to the public) to the actual trail. It is worth taking a stop at the recording station just a little way in to read the plaque and appreciate the view. Upon reaching the trail, you cross what looks like a dry riverbed, and round a shady bend with a lovely small patch of forest. From there you start up the actual debris flow, and the view just never stops being breathtaking. It looks deceptively easy from here, but make no mistake, you are constantly dipping in and out of runoff channels, and many of these dip are more of a scramble than a hike. About 3/4 of the way in, you'll come to a small creek surrounded by trees, but do not stop just yet. You can hear the much larger creek coming from the spring just a few feet down the trail, and this is where you want to stop and rest. This is truly a little oasis. You can see the water erupting from nothing, and the water here is incredibly cool, clean, and refreshing. There are lots of boulders to sit on. From here, it's a short hike to the fork up to the falls. The trail up to the falls viewpoint is not particularly steep, but much of it is just waking on volcanic debris, and it is harder than it looks. The end of the trail is marked by a large rock pile, and the view of the falls from here, as well as the surrounding gorge are unforgettable. You also have views of the top of Mt Rainier, and Johnston ridge from here. The walk back down to the main trail is much easier, and there is the chance of spotting mountain goats. The rest of the return trip is really not much easier than the trip in, because you still are dipping in and out of runoff channels. That said, you are facing spirit lake, and the views continue to boggle the mind. Mount Adams is your constant companion for the last segments of the hike, and taking the time to appreciate the geologic history laid bare in the naked rocks is a great way to kill time. Along the road for the last couple of miles, you can see layers of pumice from multiple eruptions over the centuries, and, and the spectacular colors of the rock comprising the surrounding valleys.Show more
#5 - Loowit Loop Trail
Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument
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Length: 33 mi • Est. Multi-day
#6 - South Coldwater Trail to Lakes Trail Loop
Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument
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Length: 11.6 mi • Est. 6 h 2 m
#7 - Butte Camp Trail
Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument
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Length: 7.1 mi • Est. 4 h 1 m
#8 - Mount Margaret via Boundary Trail
Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument
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Length: 12 mi • Est. 6 h 21 m
This is a beautiful hike on the North Side of Mt St Helens to the top of Mt Margaret, just over 5 miles away. It has great views into the crater, of Spirit Lake, and the surrounding mountains.Show more
#9 - Windy Ridge Trail
Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument
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Length: 0.6 mi • Est. 24 m
#10 - Whittier Ridge Lakes Trail
Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument
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Length: 12.9 mi • Est. 7 h 49 m
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