Forest Accessibility Guide

Accessibility in national forest is different than in the city.

A Forest visitor enjoys an accessible recreation site


Steep topography, uneven terrain, and lack of electricity and water are just a few of the challenges. Few areas have lighting after dark. Weather can make accessibility more difficult; icy conditions in the winter and trail erosion are some examples. Each visitor has different abilities and expectations. We encourage you to give us a call before your visit for additional information and to check current conditions.

The Gifford Pinchot National Forest welcomes visitors of all abilities. We offer this guide for visitors with special accessibility needs. We hope you will find it useful in planning both daytime excursions and overnight camping trips.

Check out Pacific Northwest Accessible Adventures videos for ideas about where to go in the pacific northwest for accessible recreation.

Accessible Sites on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Listed sites include campgrounds, interpretive sites, trails and other locations which have accessible facilities. The map does not show currently blocked or washed out roads. For road conditions and and maps, check with your nearest Forest Service office. 

The Interagency Access Pass

Interagency Access Pass


The Interagency Access Pass entitles the holder to a 50% discount on some expanded amenity fees like campgrounds (does not include hookups for water/sewer/electricity), highly developed boat launches and swimming sites and for specialized interpretive services.

There is no charge for the Interagency Access Pass, but you must be medically designated as either disabled or blind to receive one. The passports are not available by mail or phone, but can be obtained in person at any Forest Service office.


Many campgrounds have accessible features. These features include specially designed camp sites, toilet facilities, water, and picnic areas. For example, the Iron Creek Campground in the Cowlitz Valley Ranger District has a nearby creek-side accessible trail.


The program that set aside a few specific roads exclusively for disabled hunters on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest is discontinued. The Forest continues to be open to all hunters and legal hunting modes, and much of the Forest is accessible on the existing open road system.

Other opportunities remain available on Washington State lands. For additional information please contact the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Interpretive Sites

Enjoy the Johnston Ridge Observatory. This visitor center has accessible interpretive programs. At Johnston Ridge, in the heart of the Mount St. Helens Blast Zone take a one-half mile walk on the Eruption Trail and learn how the eruption shaped the surrounding landscape. Visitors can expect to see views of the lava dome, crater, pumice plain, and the landslide deposit.


You can travel more than 1,200 miles of trails of varying difficulty. 13 trails are accessible, with 4 of the trails over 1 mile in length. Approximately 11 miles of trails are constructed to accessible standards with several levels of difficulty. For example, Trail of Two Forests is a boardwalk trail located through a 1900-year-old lava flow. The scenic loop provides access to many examples of vertical tree molds and also provides an opportunity to explore a horizontal mold formed when lava covered a fallen trees.