Climbers Bivouac Trailhead

Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed

1.25.15 Conditions

This trailhead provides access to: Monitor Ridge Climbing Route the summer climbing route to Mount St Helens Summit, Ptarmigan Trail #216A and the Loowit Trail #216.

Climbers Bivouac has toilets but no water. Tent pads are available for camping on a first come, first serve basis.

Parking at Climbers Bivouac will be limited due to popularity and number of spaces.  Motorhomes and travel trailers please park at Marble Mountain Sno Park.  Overflow parking is located at Marble Mountain Sno Park, but be advised this parking area access the Worm Flows winter climbing route.  Please adjust accordingly and plan for flexibility on your trip.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Forest Road 81 gated for the season at Cougar Sno-Park on the east and just past Kalama Horse Camp on the west. Opening is snow dependent and usually opens sometime in mid-June to July.
Reservations: Between Nov. 1 & March 31, climbing permits are self-issued and availabe at the trailhead.  Between April 1 & Oct. 31 permits are limited in number and purchased online in advance.  All climbers and hikers above 4,800' on Mount St. Helens are required to have a climbing permit year round.
Fees $5/vehicle/day
Permit Info: A Climbing Permit is required year round, for all persons travelling above 4,800 ft. on the slopes of Mount St. Helens. From Nov. 1 to March 31, permits are self-issued at either Marble Mountain Sno-Park kiosk or, if open, Climber's Bivouac. Permits April 1 to Oct. 31 are limited in number and purchased in advance online beginning in mid-March.  Stay tuned for more info.
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: Summer
Busiest Season: Summer
Closest Towns: Cougar, WA
Water: No
Restroom: Vault Toilet (2)
Passes: Recreation Passes may be used as a form of fee payment.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Gifford Pinchot National Forest Offices

General Information


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. 

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Mountain Climbing

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


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Areas & Activities



  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
3700 - 4400


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