Climb to the top of the Pacific Northwest's youngest volcano alongside expert guides. Choose from the following options:



This classic climb to the rim of Mount St. Helens offers an amazing opportunity to reach the top of the Pacific Northwest’s most spectacular volcanoes and learn about the area’s natural history in the comfort of a guided group. Designed for first time climbers or those wishing to learn from our experienced and knowledgeable mountain guides, the Southside Volcano Rim Climb provides an unforgettable adventure to those bold enough to climb an active Cascade Volcano!

Led by a trained geologist, you will delve into the fascinating and complex geology of Mount St. Helens as you climb to the rim one of the Pacific Northwest’s most spectacular volcanoes in the comfort of a guided group. Your adventure will start on Friday evening as you sit around the campfire and learn about the eruptive history of Mount St. Helens. The next day, the geologist will explain all facets of the geology of Mount St. Helens and answer questions while ascending Monitor Ridge to the rim. This is a perfect opportunity for anyone interested in geology and volcanoes!

Give the Gift! Purchase a gift certificate for a 2017 Summit Climb here.  This gift certificate is good for either a Guided Summit Climb or Summit Climb with a Geologist! 



Hike Description: Early in the morning, we will start our day at Climber’s Bivouac trailhead. After departing Climber’s Bivouac (3,700’), we will follow the Ptarmigan Trail (216A) to Kiwi Camp (4,800’). Once at Kiwi Camp, we ascend above tree line and begin following Monitor Ridge up to the rim (8,300’). The majority of the elevation gain (3,500’) is in the last 3 miles where the climb is most strenuous. Ascending the rock fields, scrambling over boulders, hiking through scree and ash, as well as snow travel (depending on time of year) are all components of the climb. Descending through the volcanic terrain can be equally as trying. The geologist will give short presentations along the route. The typical round trip takes approximately 8-11 hours (6:30am-5:30pm), depending on the group and the weather conditions.

Difficulty: Non-technical but very strenuous scramble

For more information:

MSHI Guided Programs Difficulty Rating Guide

MSHI Guided Programs Fitness Test

Length: 10 miles round-trip

Elevation gain: 4500 ft

Duration: Approximately 8-11 hours, depending on the group and the weather conditions.

Meet our Climbing Guides!


* Summit Climb with a Geologist.