Trail #1: Boundary- Norway Pass to Elk Pass

Area Status: Open

This section of the Boundary Trail #1 starts at Norway Pass Trailhead and heads east to to Elk Pass Trailhead. Ghost Lake Trail #1H is accessible along this section. You'll reach the junction to this short trail leading north along clearwater Creek to Ghost Lake before just west of the Monument boundary. 

Enjoy excellent views of Mount St. Helens as you hike through the blown-down forest within the Monument. The trail winds in and out of patches of green and standing dead timber. You will observe that many trees were protected from the searing blast winds by high ridges deflecting the main force of the eruption, leaving some trees only singed and others untouched. Take a side trip to explore the eerie shores of Ghost Lake which is surrounded by the gray skeletal remains of what was once a lush green forest. As you walk look for small trees that survived the eruption because they were shielded beneath a blanket of snow!

As you continue you will enter a forest that is much like the one that once surrounded Mount St. Helens and Spirit Lake before the Mount St Helens eruption in 1980. You'll access views of the jagged peak of Mount Hood and the lush young forest of the Clearwater Valley. This valley was salvaged and replanted following the eruption. 

Care should be taken not to disturb developing plant and animal life along the fragile shoreline of Ghost Lake. 

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 11/21/2023: The Norway Pass and Elk Pass trailheads are open. Due to a landslide of Forest Road 25, Randle and Forest Road 99 will be inaccessible from Cougar. Winter closure begins December 1st or with significant snowfall.  Learn More.
Permit Info: Mount Margaret Backcountry Camping Permit required for overnight camping. Not available on-site. Obtain online or by phone (877) 444-6777 or if hearing impaired, (866) TDD-6777.
  • To protect natural features, pack stock and bicycles are prohibited in the Mount Margaret Backcountry.
  • Off-trail travel prohibited. Off-trail travel by people or pets tramples vegetation and impacts sensitive research areas.
  • Pets must be on leash at all times.
    • Hiking in this environment can pose the following dangers to pets:
      • Little to no shade
      • Little to no water availability
      • Blowing dust and fine particulate matter
      • Abrasive trail surfaces due to volcanic rock
  • Bicycles are prohibited west of the junction with Abraham Trail 216D. See Mount St. Helens Map for site rules.
  • Fires are not allowed, plan to use a camp stove for cooking.
  • Camping is limited to eight designated campsites only.
  • Maximum group size for camping is four people, 8 people at Ridge Camp.
  • Dispersed Camping is authorized without a permit north of the Green River only.
Closest Towns: Randle, WA
Water: Yes, Norway Pass TH
Restroom: Yes, Norway Pass TH
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center:

General Information


Elk Pass Trailhead  (Cowlitz Valley Ranger District)

From Randle, Washington travel south on State Highway 131 (Forest Roads 23 and 25). Veer right in 1 mile at the Y of Forest Road 23 and Forest Road 25. Follow Forest Road 25 for 21.9 miles and arrive at the trail. The trail crosses Forest Road 25 road at this point.

Norway Pass Trailhead (Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument)

From State Highway 12 in Randle WA, take WA-131S south for 2.8 miles to Forest Road 25. Continue on Forest Road 25 for another 24.3 miles to the junction with Forest Road 99. Turn right onto FR 99 towards Windy Ridge.  Drive approximately 9.2 miles to Forest Road 26 and turn right.  The Norway Pass Trailhead will be .09 miles on your left.

From Cougar WA take Lewis River Road east for 2.8 miles. The road then changes to Forest Road 90. Continue on FR 90 for 16 miles and stay to the left on Forest Road 25, pass the Pine Creek Information Center. Drive FR 25 for 25 miles to the junction of Forest Road 99. Turn left onto FR 99 towards Windy Ridge. Drive approximately 9.2 miles to Forest Road 26 and turn right.  The Norway Pass Trailhead will be .09 miles on your left.


Day Hiking


Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
6 miles

  Elevation : 
3640' - 4520'