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Mount Saint Helens via Worm Flows Trail

HARD 282 reviews

Mount Saint Helens via Worm Flows Trail is a 9.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Cougar, Washington that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 9.7 miles Elevation Gain: 5,577 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

skiing

snowshoeing

bird watching

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

off trail

no shade

no dogs

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 Please note that campsite may be temporarily closed.

hiking
snow
4 months ago

Did this in April! Toured/ boot packed with skis on a beautiful day and it was amazing! The ski down was even more amazing. Definitely took lots of breaks and a theme of the group was that there was not enough water, so brings lots lots of water and snacks!!

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
4 months ago

I am not very athletic, I built up some endurance by doing Lake Serene trail about 1 week before. My first mountain ascent ever. Amazing hike. Few miles through relatively low grade incline up to the tree line, then slow gradual ascent up. Large patches of rocky/sandy with some snow in between. The snow was mostly firm, and I had a reasonable footing throughout. I think microspikes and hiking poles are absolutely necessary. I wouldn't have felt comfortable ascending through the snowy patches without them. Summit is snow. Be careful there and don't stand too close to the crater edge. The cornice can be unstable. It is marked out with a few sticks. I was very worried about the steepness of the slopes for glissading, but eventually did it in a few spots, saved about 1.5 miles and ~1 hour on the descent. Camped out at Marble Mtn Sno-Park overnight. Started at 5:15 am. Total hiking time was about 10 hours, with 15 minutes chilling out at the summit. It was a beautiful clear sunny day, 5-10 oC, minimal wind. Bring sunscreen and a hat, and at least 4 liters of water.

hiking
no shade
snow
4 months ago

This is just a great summit. The views are amazing. I highly recommend completing this in late spring/early summer, as there is still snow on the ground. This makes it easier on the way up as you are night inhaling dust and ash, the weather is cooler, and you get to glissade down the mountain. It took us 6 hours exactly to get to the top, we spent 1.5 hours at the summit, and then it took us 2.5 hours to get back down. What a blast. Sunscreen, micro-spikes, water, sunglasses, and trekking pole are a must. Pack properly. This is a big mountain and deserves your respect. We saw MOUNTAIN GOATS (3) of them, and that alone made the trip!!!

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
4 months ago

Climbed May 26, 2019 Trekking poles and micro spikes were plenty for us. Glissading down is awesome and gives the knees a nice break for a while! Consistent snow doesn't start until the weather station and even then there are large patches of sand/rock you can choose to follow (the snow is easier though). Fun day!

hiking
4 months ago

Hard!!! But amazing

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
snow
4 months ago

scramble
snow
4 months ago

Such a fantastic hike, but I'll definitely never do it in the summer. Glissading down in my Hefty lawn bag for sure made it all worth while. Next time I hike it I'll most likely camp on the trail for a 'sunrise at the summit' :)

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

Summited 5/22/2019. Camped nearby at a quiet spot just off the road along a lovely little river with trees overhead. Parked at the Sno-Park trailhead and hit the trail at 0500. Slow ascent on wide gravel/dirt trail leading up to rocks/wet sand for another few. Final two miles were difficult as it's straight up the face of the mountain on ice crusted snow. Passed two groups on our way up and hit the summit at around 1000. Crampons were a tremendous help on the final climb as I was hitting virgin snow with no footholes to rely on. As many have said before, it's "doable" in microspikes. My buddy had them and he said he had trouble in some spots with digging in and getting good footing with them. He did end up getting to the top a couple minutes ahead of me but if you have access to crampons and mountaineering boots, you won't regret bringing them. We were the first ones up and we had the top to ourselves for a half hour. Absolutely insane views of Mts Adams, Rainier, and Hood from the top. The crater was amazing as well with several spots where steam could be seen rising from the bulging center. The echoes of rockslides from across the crater were eerie in the near silence at the top. Sunny with no wind, it was a perfect day to climb. We spent an hour at the top enjoying the views before glissading most of the way down to the treeline. The snow had softened a bit in the sun so we were sinking in quite a bit while glissading. The descent would certainly be faster in colder weather. Relatively easy downhill, finishing at 1415. I highly recommend starting early to get ahead of the crowds and enjoy a quiet moment at the top. Trekking poles and either crampons or microspikes are a necessity. Ice axe was unnecessary but I was glad to have it just in case. If the weather was colder and the ice layer on top of the snow thicker, I would've needed it to self-arrest a few times while glissading but it was soft enough that I was able to stop/slow myself with my heels. If you have the backpack space, bring your mountain boots and crampons along and use hiking boots or trail runners for the first 2/3s. Mountaineering boots were uncomfortable on the rocks as their soles are inflexible and don't give good tactile feedback while scrambling. Also: SUNSCREEN. 12/10, heckin good hike, would stand on top of St Helens again!

hiking
no shade
scramble
4 months ago

LOST A CRAMPON NEAR THE SUMMIT, SO IF YOU SEE IT EMAIL ME at Erica.tafavoti@gmail.com Climbed 5/21. Big temp changes from the bottom to the summit, so be prepared with lots of layers. Even if it isn’t sunny, sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. I reapplied twice and it wasn’t enough on my face. Sturdy boots and poles are a must. I rented mountaineering boots and crampons which were necessary with current snow levels. Last mile and a half is a total buttkicker to say the least. There was still plenty of snow to glissade for a bit back down the trail!

4 months ago

climbed 5/13, amazing weather and glissading chutes were doable with poles but an ice axe is probably better if there are icier conditions. used microspikes, especially useful on the final hill.

4 months ago

Dress in layers! I made it without crampons using other people's footprints, but my husband struggled (his feet are bigger). Poles were very helpful. Sunscreen, lip balm definitely. Many false summits! Getting down is fun glissading, although we were absolutely soaked.

hiking
muddy
snow
4 months ago

4 months ago

was a blast sunny day glisading is amazing

hiking
muddy
snow
5 months ago

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