Trail #227 Independence Pass

Area Status: Unreachable

Independence Pass Trail #227 north of its junction with Trail #227A is in poor condition. Hiking on this section is not recommended, as the trail has narrow sections along eroded cliff bands. View a vicinity map.

This trail offers views of Spirit Lake, Mount St. Helens, the crater, and lava dome this trail continues north and ends at its junction with Boundary Trail #1 at Norway Pass. Sections of the Independence Pass Trail # 227 may not be suitable for people who are uncomfortable with heights.

The trail climbs for 0.25 mile to Independence Pass and then continues north, contouring steep pumice slopes providing a bird’s eye view of Spirit Lake. One mile from the trailhead is the junction with Independence Ridge Trail #227A. After this junction Independence Pass Trail loops around the western flank of Independence Ridge. A spectacular viewpoint is reached in 1.5 miles.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 05/09/2024: Independence Pass is open. Due to a landslide of Forest Road 25, Randle and Forest Road 99 will be inaccessible via northbound travel from Cougar. Access to the area is heavily dependent on snow levels. At this time, the trail is unreachable due to snow levels on Forest Road 25 and Forest Road 99. This area will be accessible sometime in June or July when the snow melts out. Learn More.
Fees: $5/vehicle/day or a valid Recreation Pass required at Independence Pass Trailhead. See Mount St. Helens Map for fee and payment sites.
Permit Info: Mount Margaret Backcountry Permit required for overnight camping in the Mount Margaret Backcountry.
Usage: Light-Medium
  • Off trail travel prohibited west of Independence Pass Trail #227.
  • No stock or bicycles.
  • Dogs must be on a 6 foot leash on trail at all times.
Closest Towns: Randle, WA 
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center:

General Information


From Cougar WA take Lewis River Road east for 2.8 miles. The road then changes to Forest Road 90. Continue on Forest Road 90 for 16 miles and stay to the left on Forest Road 25, pass the Pine Creek Information Center. Drive Forest Road 25 for 25 miles to the junction of Forest Road 99. Turn left onto Forest Road 99 towards Windy Ridge. Drive approximately 12.2 miles to Independence Pass Trailhead.

General Notes:

Trail Vicinity Map

Trail is in very poor condition. Use extreme caution.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
3.5 miles

  Elevation : 
4040' - 4700'