Mt St Helens Summit via Monitor Ridge
Skamania County, Washington
Uploaded by Bivy Team


07 :22 hrs
3.9 mi
4484 ft

This is the standard summer route to the crater rim on Mt St Helens (the true summit is half a mile west and requires technical gear to reach.) While not a mountaineering challenge, hikers should be in excellent physical condition before attempting this climb. The route starts in a rich forest but soon emerges into meadows then barren lava flows. The middle part of the hike ascends Monitor Ridge, named for the geologic monitoring devices along it. The lava rocks here are very abrasive, so it's a good idea to bring gardening gloves should you need to use your hands. The upper part of the trail is in a barren moonscape with excellent views of Mt Adams, Mt Hood, and the country in between. The trail can be dusty here from ash deposits. There may be snow on the trail; if so, be sure that it is soft enough to kick steps into before advancing. At the crater rim, enjoy stunning views into the maw of the active volcano as well as the expanding Crater Glacier and Mt Rainier in the distance. Please keep back from the crater edge, especially if there is a cornice. Entering the crater is dangerous and strictly prohibited. During the summer, climbing permits are limited and must be reserved online in advance (visit the Mt St Helens National Volcanic Monument website for details.) Climbing this volcano is a serious undertaking and there are a lot of bureaucratic hoops to jump through, but it is sure to be an experience you will never forget!

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