Climbing Permits

This button, which will redirect to the online vendor for 2018 climbing permits, will become active on February 26, 2018 at 9:00 AM PST.

 

 

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 overuse; 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 per person includes a service charge which helps support MSHI’s Mountain Stewards, Conservation Corps and other volunteer and youth education programs at Mount St. Helens. Climbing permits are not refundable. If climbing is suspended by the Forest Service, permit sales will also be suspended. 
  • Climbing permits are REQUIRED From April 1 to October 31, they are available online by advance purchase only after February 1 (or next business day) each year. 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 UPDATES TO THE PERMIT SYSTEM

  • In order to increase well-being and safety on the volcano, climbers will be prompted through their confirmation email to register the names of all climbers in their party before their climb. This information will help climbing rangers to better respond to emergencies and will help discourage unauthorized climbing permit resales. This may be done at any time between the sale date and date of the climb.
  • We had initially planned to hold back 10% of permits per day and make them available the month before a climb to give folks the chance to get permits who weren’t able to purchase permits on February 1st. Due to the challenges experienced on the initial on-sale date, we have decided to do away with the 10% hold back. All remaining permits will be available on Feb. 26th.  

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.

WHO DO I CALL IF I AM HAVING PROBLEMS WITH MY TRANSACTION?

For all permit, climbing, or other related questions, contact the Mount St. Helens Institute at (360) 449-7883 or email climb@mshinstitute.org

WHEN PERMITS ARE SOLD OUT FOR YOUR PREFERRED DATE(S): WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?

If you have purchased a climbing permit and no longer are able to climb on that date, you may visit purmit.com to search for permits for sale or to offer your climbing permit(s) for sale. We do not manage purmit.com and we are not responsible for permit exchange or transfer transactions after the original date of 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).

WHO NEEDS A CLIMBING PERMIT AND WHEN?

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 (http://www.discovernw.org/passes

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 (http://parks.state.wa.us/130/Winter-Recreation). 

More questions about permits or climbing Mount St. Helens?

Check our FAQ page, email us at climb@mshinstitute.org or call us at 360-449-7883.