Climbers Bivouac Trailhead

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Mountainous area covered in snow with trees,

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: 09/10/21: Climber's Bivouac is open. 
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.
  • April 1- October 31:  Climbing permits are limited and must be purchased online in advance at In 2021, permits will be released one month at at time for purchase. Permits for April go on sale on March 1, 2021 at 7:00 am Pacific Time. Permits for May go on sale April 1, etc. This is a change from prior years. A quota system is in effect with a limit of 300 per day from April 1 to May 14. From May 15 to Oct. 31, the limit is 110 climbers per day.
  • November 1- March 31: Permits are free of charge and self issued at Marble Mountain Sno-Park kiosk, or, if open, Climber's Bivouac.
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: Summer
Busiest Season: Summer
Closest Towns: Cougar, WA
Water: No
Restroom: Vault Toilet (2)
Passes: America the Beautiful or Northwest Forest Pass accepted.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center:  

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. 

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  Elevation : 
3700 - 4400


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