Mount Saint Helens Summit via Ptarmigan Trail

HARD 181 reviews

Mount Saint Helens Summit via Ptarmigan Trail is a 8.4 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Stevenson, Washington 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.

DISTANCE
8.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4458 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

hiking

ice climbing

nature trips

rock climbing

snowboarding

snowshoeing

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

no dogs

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.

8 days ago

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17 days ago

This was the best hike!! We had an incredibly clear day, sunshine all the time with crazy views. Took us 5 hours up and 5 hours down (we didn't rush down, this can definitely be done faster but we took our sweet time).
We went late October and there was quite some snow, so light crampons or some sort of traction is really helpful. We also had gaiters which helped, but I'm sure people will argue you don't necessarily need it. However, it's a hard hike and whatever helps, right? Totally worth every step though!

21 days ago

Awesome butt kick trail

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1 month ago

Awesome hike but you better hope for a view when you get there. We car camped at the TH and was able to hit the trail at 6 am. I think 5 am would have been better for the next time though. The first two miles were through the woods at a nice grade providing a warm up for the tough hike to come. After popping out of the woods it endless rocks and ash. One should have gloves to protect themselves from the abrasive rocks. All you need to do now is follow the posts. The trail involves walking and squeezing through large rocks or on ash. There is no groomed trail here. The trail is easy to follow when there is good visibility as well. About a hour before the rim the wind picked up, which is pretty common. Just be prepared for the wind and some cold weather and you will be fine. There was really no snow that couldnt be avoided until the last few feet. I didnt use spikes but had them., some in my group used them though. On the descent they were more useful. Poles are a pain on the way up but useful on the way down.

I was there with a few friends and if it was summer and warmer no view wouldnt have been a big deal. Since I was there at this time of the year and it was cold and windy I am glad we had the view and not so sure I would have left the car if there was no visibility on top of the wind and weather.

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1 month ago

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1 month ago

Absolutely stunning views! Hit the trail head about 0615 & made it up to the summit about 4.5 hours later. This climb was the most challenging yet. Mentally and physically having to push myself to keep going. So happy for the reward at the top!
I suggest some experience with outdoors and hiking and moderate physical shape to complete this. Leave the dogs and kids at home!