The Monitor Ridge Climbing Route is the primary route used by climbers during the summer. It is a nontechnical scramble, gaining 4,500 feet in 5 miles. Most climbers complete the round trip in 7 to 12 hours.
At a Glance
Climbing permits are available on line by advanced reservation only. Please vist the Mount St. Helens Instititue web site to purchase and reserve your climbing permit.
A Climbing Permit is required year round to climb Mount St. Helens. Climbing fees are $22.00 per climbing permit from April 1st through October 31st. Please see permit information for more details.
Climbing Permits are required for each person, for each day, traveling above 4800 ft elevation, on the slopes of Mount St. Helens year round.
April 1 - October 31 - Climbing permits are sold online, in-advance, on a first-come, first-served basis through the Mount St. Helens Institute.
May 1 through October 31- A qouta system is in effect with a limit of 100 climbers per day.
November 1 thru March 31- Permits are free of charge and self issue at the Climbing Registers.
Climbing quota of a 100 climbers per day is in effect May 15th thru October 31st.
Vault toilet at Timberline
A Northwest Forest Pass is required. Climbers will be given a pass for their vechile upon pick up of their climbing permit.
Above timberline, the route generally follows Monitor Ridge, climbing steeply through blocky lava flows and loose pumice and ash. From timberline the route is marked with large wooden posts to about 7,000 feet elevation. The upper 1,300 feet of the route is unmarked and covered with loose, rock, pumice and ash. On your descent, take care to stay on route, a minor detour may put you far off route at timberline.