Mount Saint Helens via Monitor Ridge Route
22 reviews Gifford Pinchot National Forest #21 hike out of 99 in
1 hrs 22 min
This is a difficult one way trail in Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
This trail goes by Climbers Bivouac.
Rate this Hike
Very steep ascent. Almost more difficult on the way down. On a clear day there are panoramic views the entire way. The St. Helens crater is plenty impressive on its own, a testament to the raw power of Mother Nature. We could also see Sprit Lake and Mt. Rainier to the north, Mt. Adam’s to the East, Mt. Hood and Mt. Bachelor to the South, and very tiny in the distance we’re the three sisters. Certainly one of the most difficult and rewarding climbs I’ve ever done.★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I hesitate to give any climb of a Cascade Volcano a less than 5 star rating because they are all unique and spectacular. For this climb, however, I have to go 4 stars not because the the first 1.8 miles are amazingly beautiful and well maintained or because the route is the best marked route of any climb I have done but because of the number of boulder fields. The boulder fields follow the route above tree line but there are multiple trail variations, no consistent path through the boulder fields and there was of course no snow. We were not expecting snow on the route in August but it was the only time we could climb and get a permit (which proved difficult to obtain). If one could do this climb in the early season when the boulder fields would be covered in snow then this would be an easy 5 stars. Without the snow, I think Mt. Adams is a better non-technical mountain in the late summer even though it has more elevation gain. Being able to glissade from the false summit (assuming safety in the glissade chute never takes a holiday) and then walk efficiently down the Crescent Glacier saves more time than the energy expended with the extra altitude and allows you to descend the extra altitude quickly.★ ★ ★ ★
Mt St. Helens - Monitor Ridge
This was going down. Going up took about 3.5 hrs.