Climbing Permits

2018 climbing permits go on sale

February 1, 2018 at 9am


Everyone must have a climbing permit to be above 4,800 feet elevation on Mount St. Helens. The permit system helps to protect the volcano’s physical and biological features and processes, reduces crowding, and provides climbers with information on climbing conditions, Leave No Trace principles, and safety.  The permit system has been in effect since 1987. 

  • Mount St. Helens climbing permits are administered by Mount St. Helens Institute (MSHI) through an online vendor. The MSHI online vendor is a secure website that accepts all major credit and debit cards. Climbers will be emailed a permit purchase confirmation receipt at the time of purchase.
  • The total permit fee of $22 includes a service charge which goes towards MSHI’s Mountain Stewards Volunteer Program to help maintain and protect the climbing routes. Climbing permits are not refundable. If climbing is suspended by the Forest Service, permit sales will also be suspended. 
  • From April 1 to October 31 climbing permits are available online by advance purchase only. Do not wait until the day of your climb to purchase your permit.  Unsold permits may be purchased online until 24-hours before the date of the climb.
  • Once you complete your permit purchase through the online vendor, all sales are final. Refunds are not possible. You cannot change climbing dates once your purchase is complete. Please plan accordingly before completing your purchase

2018 climbing permits go on sale February 1, 2018 at 9am.

Please click the link below to search for available dates and to purchase your permit.

*To purchase your permit, you will be redirected to Discover Your Northwest, our non-profit partner with Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

At 8,328 feet high (as measured by USGS in 2009), Mount St. Helens offers climbers a breathtaking view from the crater rim. Although it is not a technical climb, it is strenuous and hazardous due to ice, large boulders, loose pumice, fast-changing weather and volcanism. Climbers should be in very good physical condition, well equipped, informed about volcanic hazards, and have plenty of water and food.

The Mount St. Helens Institute has partnered with the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument to help protect the volcano’s fragile features and to ensure climbers have a safe, low-impact experience on the volcano.

Before climbing Mount St. Helens, please read climbing rules, road and trail conditions, and other important information from the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.


For transaction-related questions i.e. credit card issues, purchase confirmation email, etc, please call Discover Your Northwest at (877) 874-6775. For all permit, climbing, or other related questions, call the Mount St. Helens Institute at (360) 449-7883


If the date you want to climb has no more available permits OR if you have purchased a climbing permit and no longer are able to climb on that date, please visit to search for permits for sale or to offer your climbing permit(s) for sale. To transfer ownership of a permit, the owner must give/email the confirmation receipt as well as the permits to the recipient along with a written statement or email that the recipient is allowed to use the purchaser’s permit(s).


If you are climbing between November 1st - March 31st, you must self register at either Climbers Bivouac or Marble Mountain Sno-Park’s climber registers. There is no fee for permits during this period.

If you are climbing between April 1st - October 31st, you must purchase your permit by clicking the “SEARCH NOW” button. Permits are $22.00. Permits are limited to 500/day from April 1st - May 14th, and 100/day from May 15th - October 31st. You are also required to self-register at either Climbers Bivouac or Marble Mountain Sno-Park’s climber registers.

A National Forest Recreation Pass (parking permits) is required to park at Climber’s Bivouac and is not provided with climbing permits at time of purchase. Climbers are required to display a valid National Forest Recreation Day Pass ($5/day) or National Forest Recreation Annual Pass ($30) on each car parked at Climber’s Bivouac. Day Passes are available for purchase at a self-service pay station at Climber’s Bivouac, at monument facilities, or online through Discover Your Northwest (

Between November 1 and March 31 climbing passes are available by self-registration at no charge at the Climber’s register. A National Forest Recreation Day Pass is not required at Marble Mountain Sno-Park between April 1 to October 31. A Washington State Sno-Park permit is required from December 1 through March 31, permits may be purchased through Washington State Parks ( 

More questions about permits or climbing Mount St. Helens?

Check our FAQ page, email us at or call us at 360-449-7883.