Worm Flows Trail

HARD 39 reviews

Worm Flows Trail is a 9.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Cougar, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

9.1 miles
5065 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly





nature trips

rock climbing






wild flowers



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

29 days ago

Fairly straightforward and easy approach to Mt St. Helena crater rim.

There are definitely higher elevations to the west of the crater rim if you feel like hiking around.

Conditions will really make or break this hike; I lucked out with near perfect weather.

7 months ago

simply unreal.

7 months ago

Spent the night at the trailhead to get an early start, 4am. It got light by 5am ish. The trail starts in a forest and turns in to a rocky/snowy canyon before the snowfields. We hiked on the rocks until the weather station. We put our crampons on there because the snow was so hard. Please! If you are going, be prepared! Crampons are NECESSARY to feel stable and secure. The second to last slope is so so steep and rough, but I mean they all are

7 months ago

Bring sunscreen! the reflection off the snow will do damage. learn from my mistake.

It's hard. there's a couple of times you think your at the top. don't ask the people that look like they do it in there sleep. they Will give you false hope because your not even close. The elevation will affect your body, be prepared that every step is going to be slower than your normal pace. plus most of the path your following others steps in the snow. The struggle is real, but 90% of everyone is in the same boat laughing and fighting it as well. feed off those good vibes and you will make it!

once you get to the top you will make a mental note to never do it again. *you will change your mind. just wait for the glissade down. we didn't have ice axes but when the snow warms up you won't go as fast. just use your trekking pole and feet to dig in. I would look at the conditions tho. if it's icy I wouldn't risk it without proper tools. don't do it because I said do.
Gear I used- crampons, trekking poles, gloves , gaiters , sunglasses, windbreaker, moleskin (feet), trashbag (get the largest)

wish I would of had- sunscreen , t-shirt

wish I never had- thermals ( to hot that day)

we started at 6am & didn't get down till 7pm. 9 hours up (lots of breaks) 4 hours down.

also I have heard that this trekk will leave you sore. I walked away with no pain besides sunburns. the snow is very soft apparently for joints. I did table mt and walked away destroyed and helens is so much more intense. I also didn't train. eveyone is different so don't quote me.

7 months ago

The summer route is still closed; took a day off work to go up this way. Started around 7:00, made it up to the top by 11:30 with about 3:30 of moving time.

The beginning of the trail was very misty; we missed the Chocolate Falls crossing originally because we couldn't see the markers on the other side. The trail is very well-marked for the most part, with large posts and/or footprints from earlier climbers to guide you. You can avoid putting on your crampons or microspikes for the first few miles; the trail takes you up a rocky ridge. I put my microspikes on at the weather station. From there it's a step machine to the summit. Unfortunately, a cloud hung over the crater so we couldn't see anything.

A few tips:
- re-apply sunscreen at the top; otherwise, you'll get burned on the way down
- bring gaiters even if it's warm; otherwise, your feet will get wet on the way down
- don't forget sunglasses and try to cover up as much skin as you can
- bring waterproof pants for glissading. Ice axe optional, but recommended

All in all, a fun day on the mountain!

7 months ago

Great hike don't miss the turn to marble Mountain you will not be disappointed bring a sled or garbage bag best hike ever.

7 months ago

Very challenging! You should at minimum have micro spikes as there is a lot of snow at the lower elevation. Also, as of yesterday worms flows was the only trail open adding additional distance to the climb. You should try and hit the trail at first light to allow for changing weather and slow progression. We didn't hit the summit until 4pm after starting late around 7, weather blew in and made visibility poor at 6000ft. I would also recommend carrying GPS if the weather report doesn't call for clear skies. My partner and I had an awesome time!

7 months ago

Memorial Day. Great day to climb. Perfect weather. Snow hard in morning. Mushy towards 930 am. Started at 3 am. Summit at 10am. Glissaded down almost to tree line. Watch out for rocks in some of the runs. Ideal to have ice axe and micro spikes. We didn't have crampons but also didn't need them. Remember sunscreen and apply often. Please stay away from edge, a couple people got too close. Have the ten essentials. Most of all be safe and have fun.

8 months ago

More like 10 miles. Really fun if you go on the right day when the weather is good.

9 months ago

perfect day. a foot of powder. no wind and empty parking lots at every trailhead. alone on a volcano. amazing.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Love this trail!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

We climbed on a beautiful spring day, and had a blast. Snowshoes were necessary from the sno-park (for which you'll need a permit) until we got high enough for the snow to turn icy. From there we used yaktrax/ice trekkers. Full crampons wouldn't really have helped, but we saw many people wearing them.

We glissaded down from the rim to the ridge around 4800 feet, which was a blast, but it didn't help our jealousy for all the skiers and snowboarders. I imagine that activity can get pretty hairy, but it was a perfect day for it when we were there.

We took it relatively slow and were back to the car 10 and a half hours later.

CHECK THE WEATHER. We had a beautiful day, but it's still a mountain in winter-ish conditions and things could have been much worse.

Thursday, February 04, 2016


Monday, January 12, 2015

Always check current conditions before doing this climb. http://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Mount-Saint-Helens/forecasts/2549. Wasn't not able to make the summit due to adverse conditions. Everyone I meet on the mountain turned around also about the weather station (around 6500 ft). Not much snow right now. Skiers and boarders had a hard time coming down with all the rocks. You can still glissade parts of it though. Climbing permits are free during the winter, you just need a Sno-Park parking pass. You start at Marble Mountain Sno-Park (2700 ft). We camped by chocolate falls (4800 ft) and attempted the summit the next day. We used snow shoes on the way up and glissaded down. Ice axe highly recommended and with show shoes or crampons.

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Awesome hike check current snow conditions and bring crampons if necessary. we did this in trail shoes with out crampons in snow on May25 and it was slick. would of been a lot easier with crampons and sticks or axe. totally spectacular view of Rainer Adams and hood I think. sliding down in the snow in rain pants was a quick and fun way Down

Sunday, May 29, 2016

14 May 2016
Plenty of snow still! Started to rain on us a little on the way out, but it was still an amazing hike. One of the best I've ever done!

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