Activity Notes

Important Note

The climb might be rescheduled depending on the weather and avalanche conditions.


With the summit elevation of 8363 ft., Mount St. Helens is the lowest and youngest of Washington’s five volcanic peaks. The unique low timberline elevation results from the recent eruptions and from the porous thick pumice soil. The peak lost 1312 feet as a result of the famous May 18, 1980 eruption. The first recorded ascent of this peak was in 1853. The local Native American name of Mount St. Helens is Loowit or Louwala-Clough, which means "smoking mountain".  As we climb we acknowledge the people that were here before us. Louwala-Clough is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its vital importance to the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. Please learn more about their history at: and

While Mount St. Helens is one of the lower and technically easier glaciated peaks in the Pacific Northwest, it is still a strenuous climb as the starting elevation is relatively low. The peak is often underestimated; exposure and route finding challenges in low visibility can make this peak a serious as any in the Northwest. The views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams from the summit can be spectacular. Be cautious of the cornices on the summit crater!

We will climb the Swift Creek - Worm Flows route, the standard early season route, that starts at the Marble Mountain Sno-Park, and reaches the summit in 6 miles, gaining 5700 ft. of elevation. 

Permits and Fees: Mount St. Helens is one of the most heavily regulated peaks in the US. This climb is scheduled outside of the paid permit season, and a free self-issued permit will be obtained at the trailhead. 

A Washington Sno-Park pass is required and is not available at the trailhead! These can be purchased ahead of time online. Select the "Daily Sno-Park Permit" option for $25. To minimize cost and environmental impact, carpooling is strongly encouraged.

Weather: As the date of the climb approaches, we will evaluate the conditions.  If we do not get a weather window, the climb will be cancelled or rescheduled.

Rough Schedule:

  • 3:30 AM - Meet at the Marble Mountain Sno-Park
  • 4:00 AM - Start climbing
  • 5:00 AM - Reach Chocolate Falls
  • 7:00 AM - Reach the seismic station (5300 ft)
  • 10:00 AM - Reach the summit (the crater rim really)
  • 3:00 PM - Return back to the Marble Mountain Sno-Park

Registration is Closed

We’re sorry to report that registration is now closed for this activity and we are no longer accepting applications. The activity has either reached its maximum capacity or the registration period has ended.
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Have questions about registration or your application status?

Email or call (503) 227-2345

Group Information
Groups Climb Leaders
Grad Preference BCEP, FM101


Have questions about registration or your application status?

Email or call (503) 227-2345