Mount St. Helens East: Forest Roads 25 & 99

Area Status: Not Cleared
View of volcano from 99

Gifford Pinchot National Forest Roads 25 and 99 provide access to Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument's vast blown down forest and views of the legendary Spirit Lake. These forest roads are typically open from late June until November.

On Forest Road 99, stop at one of nine interpretive sites, enjoy the views and learn about the volcano and eruption by reading interpretive signs. Links to the stops are below:

Other great opportunities include mountain biking, hiking and/or picnicking at Smith Creek and journeying into the Mount Margaret Backcountry via the Norway Pass Trail.

Lodging, gas and other services are offered in nearby communities. Cowlitz Valley Ranger Station, in Randle, WA, open to visitors daily during the summer season.

As an important note: Forest Road 99 is split between two different ranger districts within Gifford Pinchot National Forest. For current conditions NORTH of Bear Meadow Trailhead and Interpreative Site, contact Cowlitz Valley Ranger District. For current conditions SOUTH of Bear Meadows Trailhead and Interpreative site, contact Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. 

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At a Glance

Current Conditions: Current Conditions as of 05/09/2024: 
  • Forest Road 25: Click here to check current road conditions for FR 25. Due to a significant landslide and subsequent slope destabilization along a section of Forest Road 25 at milepost (MP) 26, Forest Road 25 will be closed as a through-route until further notice. Forest Road 99/Windy Ridge is only accessible via Forest Road 25 via Randle, WA. Learn more
  • Forest Road 99: FR 99 is blocked by snow and usually melts out sometime in June. Click here to check current road conditions for Forest Road 99. 
Fees: $5/vehicle/day at most developed recreation sites, or a valid Recreation Pass. See Mount St. Helens Map for fee and payment sites.
Usage: Medium
Best Season: Summer
Busiest Season: Summer
  • No camping on Forest Road 99 within the National Volcanic Monument.
  • Travel is allowed on approved trails only.
  • Off-trail travel, dogs, livestock, fires, bicycles, and camping are prohibited to protect sensitive natural features and scientific studies. 
  • Research permits are required for off-trail travel.
Closest Towns: Randle,WA, Cougar, WA
Water: Water available at Norway Pass Trailhead
Restroom: Multiple sites along the route
Information Center:

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Horse Camping

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Horse Riding

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Viewing Wildlife

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Viewing Plants

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Viewing Scenery

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Visitor Programs

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Interpretive Areas

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Scenic Driving

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Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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