Route Descriptions

Worm Flows | Winter Climbing Route

Start at the trailhead from Marble Mountain Sno Park. Wooden signposts guide climbers from timberline to approximately 4,800' elevation. About 2 miles in, leave the forest and pass views of Chocolate Falls (elevation 3,700'), a 40-foot waterfall along Swift Creek, heading into a barren landscape of mudflows and rock, snaking up the jumbled lava flow ridge up to the seismic station. The seismic station (elevation 6,200') is below the snow field that leads up to the crater rim.

The route crests the crater's crescent-shaped rim, on a clear day revealing dramatic views of Spirit Lake and Mount Rainier. Head west along the rim to the true summit, a mound of rocks at 8,366 feet. Savor more sweet views before turning around for the return trip, hugging Worm Flow Ridge and retracing your route, back to the trailhead.

Monitor Ridge | Summer Climbing Route

Start at the Climbers' Bivouac trailhead and wander through the dense forest, the route moving steadily uphill. After a few miles, the trail crosses Loowit trail, the circumnavigation of Mount St. Helens. The vault toilet here is affectionately called "Last Chance Bathroom" before the climb continues. Increasing in steepness, remain in the trees for the next half mile before breaking out into the open (elevation 4,800'). Wooden pole markers usher climbers along the blocky boulders of Monitor Ridge almost the whole way. Savor the horizon on a clear day and descend on the route you came, following the wooden pole markers back to the trailhead.