Looking for a great trail in Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington? AllTrails has 25 great hiking trails, trail running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Gearing up for a challenge? There are 10 hard trails in Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument ranging from 8.2 to 26.9 miles and from 2,516 to 8,284 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

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At 8:32 Sunday Morning, May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens Erupted Shaken by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, the north face of this tall symmetrical mountain collapsed in a massive rock debris avalanche. In a few moments this slab of rock and ice slammed into Spirit Lake, crossed a ridge 1,300 feet high, and roared 14 miles down the Toutle River. The avalanche rapidly released pressurized gases within the volcano. A tremendous lateral explosion ripped through the avalanche and developed into a turbulent, stone-filled wind that swept over ridges and toppled trees. Nearly 150 square miles of forest was blown over or left dead and standing. At the same time a mushroom-shaped column of ash rose thousands of feet skyward and drifted downwind, turning day into night as dark, gray ash fell over eastern Washington and beyond. Wet, cement-like slurries of rock and mud scoured all sides of the volcano. Searing flows of pumice poured from the crater. The eruption lasted 9 hours, but Mount St. Helens and the surrounding landscape were dramatically changed within moments. A vast, gray landscape lay where once the forested slopes of Mount St. Helens grew. In 1982 the President and Congress created the 110,000-acre National Volcanic Monument for research, recreation, and education. Inside the Monument, the environment is left to respond naturally to the disturbance.

The clouds were low and it was rainy. We were able to hike in about 2.7 miles before a large waterfall that was raging pretty strong stopped us from crossing to the other side of the trail. There was no bridge or another path to get around it. It was a beautiful hike and we’ll definitely go back in the summer when the water isn’t flowing as heavy to finish our hike.

I did this hike on October 11, 2019 and absolutely recommend it. We got very lucky with sunny and clear skies. The trail had a few inches of snow that was becoming slush in the sun. Microspikes would have helped to prevent sliding as it was a steady incline all the way up. You could see at least two mountains the entire hike- Rainier, Adams, Hood, or Helens- definitely a hike best enjoyed on a sunny day. It is quite exposed so I imagine it can get pretty chilly and windy with colder weather. Incredible hike!

10/18/19 - Didn’t make it to the top but had a great time getting as far as we could. Made it a little more than 6000 feet. Wind and ice were rough getting near there. Spikes were needed. I didn’t have any and went as far a I possibly could before it turned to solid ice. Crampons would be good if you were really going to push for it or with all the snow coming in tonight. No groups from this day made it to the top.

I was not able to complete this hike :( I bit off a little more than I could chew today. I will be back!

great hike today and the weather was amazingly beautiful. bring trekking poles, you will definitely need them. 9 hours up and down with breaks. try to make it to the real peak far to the left from the ridge where most people usually arrive, the vue of the glaciers is cool from there.

Rocky second half, but well worth the view! Incredible hike and day

hiking
snow
9 days ago

Hiked on Oct 11. Any car can drive to TH, bathrooms available, need NW Forest Pass. Beautiful sunny day so epic views. Made it to 1 peak on Whittier, had to turn back because of snow on ridge, very dangerous to continue.

mountain biking
9 days ago

Great trail. The last section to the top is sketchy. It's a single track of loose and unsettled volcanic rock with a 100ft+ dropoff inches away. I wouldn't take my record as accurate. I broke my pinky at the begining of the trail. The start of the trail is signed as Kalama Snow Park. Take that trail, and you'll pass two three-way forks. Just keep going straight. The decent is on youtube @ "jake&benjamin's account"

10/13/19, drove from portland, started hike at 6:36am, several other hikers started around same time. Cloudy and overcast through the trees section. In about 45min we hit the boulders field and we were climbing into the clouds, garden gloves helped. Temperature was freezing but once above the cloud cover, had partial-clear views of the mountain range, Columbia river etc. There was little to no snow near the boulders. last 1000ft or so was very window but clear, very steep and some ice. Did not use any crampons or ice pick. Coming down was easier, did with caution as boulders are never ending. Took our group less than 11 hrs to complete with multiple breaks in between.

so much fun!

October 12th. Started out at 6:40am after driving up from Eugene. It was 38 F and barely any wind. Easy section up through the trees and spectacular sunrise next to Mt. Adams. Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson looked majestic in the layers of terrain above the light cloud layer. Heading up Monitor Ridge was pretty easy going and we alternated between the ridge path and the West side of the ridge a little lower down. Hitting the boulder field we went riot ht of the posts but probably should have stayed left. They go on forever! Once into the last ascent it is steep! Views were incredible, Rainier was hidden in clouds but it was breathtaking nonetheless. Perfect weather. Hiking down was pretty easy going, and we were careful through the boulder field. Approximately 5hours up including breaks, and 2.5 hours down. We didn’t need microspikes or ice axes, just poles, boots and gaiters.

hiking
14 days ago

wasn't 4.7 miles lol. gps got sletxhy underground!

didn't make it to the top :( Got to a ridge around 6000 feet and the wind started gusting so hard it knocked me off my feet twice. can't wait to try it again! so beautiful!

hiking
15 days ago

Such a unique trail! It reminds me of cave trails I have done in Costa Rica and Belize. Definitely have high powered a flashlight. I would recommend having one on a lanyard you can wear around your wrist. Enjoy the experience! The wet, cold, and dark...it’s stunning.

Very easy walk that is used as the starting point to access the more difficult trails in the park.

hiking
15 days ago

Hiked this trail in early October and it was awesome. The views were stunning with clouds rolling right up over the trail.

hiking
scramble
15 days ago

Very fun both ends of the lava tube especially the scrambling and climbing over the boulders a challenging and unique hiking experience.

hiking
16 days ago

Very well maintained. a lot of moderate up and down, so total elev. gain/loss from the Johnston Observatory is quite a bit more than the difference of elevations been the two points. On a cloudy day (Saturday) with intermittent showers views were very limited. But when sun cut through: Wow! Will go back on a sunny day. There is no shade and very few spots on the trail suitable to stop for a "picnic" break, so pla. accordingly. Overall a great hiking trail. Not much traffic, but temps were 40s and lots of mist/light rain to keep fair weather hikers away.

hiking
scramble
16 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

This is one of our favorites for sure. We love the winding trail through massive, towering pines, so still and peaceful! In the fall the changing colors of the vine maples is fantastic. On a clear day there are several viewpoints along the way of St. Helens, Adams, Rainer, and Hood, but of course the best view is at the end. Mt. Saint Helens is awesome and seems so close! We've hiked this trail several times and seen mountain goats every trip. Today one even passed fairly close by to the trail overlook. Sadly I only caught the hind end, but others ahead of us got a great look. The trail was busy today with hikers and mountain bikers, but we never felt crowded.

hiking
17 days ago

The most unique trail I’ve ever done. Felt like I was walking inside of an alien spaceship or on another planet. Wear a headlamp and maybe take another light source. I wore a down jacket and wished I hadn’t. It was extremely humid in the cave and I was sweating like crazy. There is quite a bit of scrambling involved as well as a rope climb/repel depending on which end you start at.

Otherworldly experience. My friend and I did this hike Oct 1, 2019 after camping at hikers bivouac. We started out at 608 am in the dark and cold. At the weather station we almost turned around due to 30-40 mph winds. But we decided to trudge on and see if the conditions improved. To our delight, they did. It was very slow going and thank goodness for our microspikes - they were a lifesaver in the rocks and snow. I would take 2L of water and snacks. We did the whole thing up and back down in under 8 hours. It was the most physically demanding thing I’ve done maybe ever and also the most rewarding.

hiking
fee
muddy
off trail
rocky
scramble
snow
18 days ago

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