Trail #227 Independence Pass

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

The Independence Pass trail has experienced significant washouts- visitors cannot safely hike beyond the first 1.5 miles of the trail from the Independence Pass trailhead.

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 (area is unavailable) 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: 8/11/19: Trail is open but expect washouts and exposed areas; use extreme caution if hiking in this area.
Permit Info: A Mount Margaret Backcountry permit is required for overnight camping at designated sites only.
Usage: Light-Medium
  • Off trail travel prohibited west of Independence Pass Trail #227.
  • No pets, stock, bicycles.
Closest Towns: Randle, WA 
Passes: A vaid Recreation Pass is required at Independence Pass trailhead. (On-site payment not available.)
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument Headquarters & Visitor Centers

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.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



Show detail SHOW
Areas & Activities



  Area/Length : 
3.5 miles

  Elevation : 
4040' - 4700'