Mount Margaret Backcountry

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

View of Snow Lake

Hikers may explore trails that lead to clear lakes, steep ridges and flowered mountain slopes of the Mount Margaret Backcountry. Visitors to this rugged and spectacular portion of the Monument can experience effects of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. The lateral blast, a hot stone filled wind, shattered trees and swirled around peaks and basins as it toppled thousands of acres of pristine forest.

Trails in the Mount Margaret Backcountry have narrow tread, are steep in places and can climb over 2,000 feet in elevation. Some trails are very challenging. The Whittier Trail #214, in particular, is very narrow and crosses steep cliffs, it is not suitable for hikers that are uncomfortable with heights. Trail is rough and recommenced for experienced hikers only.

Eight backcountry camps can accommodate tent campers. Portions of trails are often covered by snow until midsummer. Be prepared to cross snow slopes if you plan an early season visit.

At a Glance

Current Conditions:   Mount Margaret Backcountry Conditions Report.

Johnston Ridge Observatory, South Coldwater and Norway Pass trailheads are open. Forest Road 26 is closed from the north, so to get to Norway Pass, take Forest Road 99 to Forest Road 26 north. Trails and campsites in the Mount Margaret Backcountry may be snow-covered, with possible first snow on Oct. 5, 2018. Conditions can change rapidly at high elevations. Please note that water sources are becoming scarce, particularly at higher elevations and on south-facing aspects. Overnight camping is allowed only at 8 designated sites; these sites must be reserved online at www.recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777. Dogs, bicycles , stock and fires are prohibited.

   

Reservations: Permit reservations may be made online at Recreation.gov or by calling 1- (877) 444 6777, or Hearing impaired: 1- (877) TDD 6777.
Permit Info: A Mount Margaret Backcountry Permit is required for overnight camping in the Mount Margaret Backcounty.
  • Reservations may be made online at Recreation.gov or by phone 1-(877)-444-6777 or Hearing impaired: 1-877-TDD-6777.
Usage: Medium
Best Season: Summer
Busiest Season: Summer
Restrictions:
  • To protect natural features, pets and pack stock are prohibited in the Mount Margaret Backcountry.
  • Fires are not allowed, plan to use a camp stove for cooking.
  • Camping is limited to designated campgrounds only.
  • Maximum group size for camping is four people.
  • Dispersed Camping is authorized without a permit North of the Green River only.
Closest Towns: Randle, WA - Toutle, WA
Water: Treat all non-potable water before consuming.
Passes: Many trailheads that access Mount Margaret Backcountry require a valid Recreation Pass.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument Headquarters & Visitor Centers

General Information

General Notes:

Attached you will find camp maps with current available water sources. Please note, water availablity may change through out the summer at Ridge Camp and camps located along the Boudary Trail.

 Ridge Camp, Snow Camp, Shovel Camp, Obsurity Camp, Bear Camp, Dome Camp and Margaret Camp


Directions:

Access Points:

Eastside access:

Westside access:


Parking:


Activities


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