Climbers Bivouac Trailhead
A 2.7 mile winding gravel road (Forest Road 830) leads you to Climber’s Bivouac and the trailhead for Ptarmigan Trail #216A, the start of the Monitor Ridge Climbing Route. Fourteen or so tent pads with fire pits are available, as well as dispersed camping. Sites are first come, first served only. There are pit toilets, but no water.
America the Beautiful, Northwest Forest Passes or $5 per vehicle per day in the fee tube cover the recreation fee. Parking is limited, with overflow parking available at Marble Mountain Sno-Park, the parking for the winter climbing route, located about seven miles away. Please park motorhomes or travel trailers at Marble Mountain Sno-Park lots.
At a Glance
|Current Conditions:||05/30/2023: Climbers Bivouac is closed for the season and will open in late spring/early summer depending on when the snow melts out. Climbers must use the winter route via Marble Mtn Sno-Park. Be prepared for snow and ice on roadways and throughout the climbing route. Permits for climbing are required April-Nov. and are available on Recreation.gov each month for the following month.|
|Reservations:||Between April 1 & November 30 permits are limited in number and purchased online in advance.|
|Permit Info:||A Mount St. Helens Climbing Permit is required year-round for all persons travelling above 4,800 ft. on the slopes of the mountain.
|Closest Towns:||Cougar, WA|
|Restroom:||Vault Toilet (2)|
|Passes:||America the Beautiful or Northwest Forest Pass accepted at trailhead.|
|Operated By:||Forest Service|
From Cougar, WA take Lewis River Road/Forest Road 90 east for 6.4 miles then go left on Forest Road 83. Follow Forest Road 83 for 3 miles then stay left onto Forest Road 81 and go about a mile to Forest Spur Road 830. Go right at Forest Road 830 and drive about .4 miles to the trailhead.
Map showing recreational areas. Map Information
It is important for climbers of any Cascade summit to be aware of a few things:
- Climbing parties should use good judgment and take special care of weaker members and novice climbers (Always think Safety is Item Number One)
- Be prepared for treacherous slopes (steep, slick, with dangerous runouts), especially on descent, going from the basin at timberline to the crest of Monitor Ridge
- Before climbing, gain knowledge of competent use of an ice axe or ski poles on all snow slopes, and the ability to self-arrest a fall under any conditions
- Be aware of receding snow on current glissade paths higher on the Mountain, exposing rock hazards
- Stay well back from cornices that still remain along the summit rim
- Prepare for warming temperatures demanding that climbers carry three liters of water at a minimum
- Know and use proper footwear, clothing, sun protection and sunglasses!
- Prepare and carry gear for bad weather
- Carry a first aid kit and being able to use it