Forest Road 83 passes through lava flows and mudflows from earlier eruptions and provides access to Climber's Bivouac, Ape Cave, and Lava Canyon. State Highway 503 is open year round, while Forest Roads 83, 81, and 90 are usually open from Memorial Day until snow blocks the roads. Guided lantern walks are conducted daily at Ape Cave from June through beginning of September. Food, lodging, gas, and other services are available in nearby communities.
Roving Rangers will be roving Lahar View Point and Lava Canyon this summer to provide interpretive talks on the geology of the area. Pine Creek Information Station is operated in the summer near the junction of Forest Roads 90 and 25. There are bathrooms with running water, souvenirs, and friendly staff from Discover Your Northwest.
Accessible Adventures Video
At a Glance
10/14/2014: Forest Road 90 is open. There will be a single-lane closure in place on September 15 and 16, 2014 at the Swift Creek Bridge at MP 4.2. Swift Creek Bridge will be temporarily closed at night from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. on September 17 through September 24, 2014 in order to repair damaged bridge joints. There is no detour. FR 83 is open to Lava Canyon Trail Head. FR 81 is completely open, connecting to the FR 83 on the east side.
Climbing Permits are required year round above 4,800 ft. on the slopes of Mount St. Helens.
Summer - Fall
Climbing Permits are by advance reservation only April 1st thru October 31st. A climbing quota is in effect of 100 climbers per day May 15th thru October 31st.
NOTE: The area north of Mount St. Helens (within the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument) is a Restricted Area. It includes the crater, pumice plain to the north and the Spirit Lake basin. The area is closed to the public in order to provide for the recovery of the land and to avoid disturbance of scientific studies. For more information contact the Monument headquarters.
Violations of 36 CFR 261 may result in confiscation of equipment, fines up to $5,000.00, and/or six months in jail.
Areas for Snowmobiling at South Side - SR 503, Forest Roads 83, 81 & 90