Climbing Permits

This button will redirect to the online vendor for 2018 climbing permits. 2019 permits are not yet on sale.



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


Changes are being made to the permit purchasing system in 2019. To stay up-to-date about these changes and more, please sign up for the Mount St. Helens Institute Climber's Newsletter HERE. Information will also be available on our website and our Facebook page.


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


If you have purchased a climbing permit and no longer are able to climb on that date, you may visit to search for permits for sale or to offer your climbing permit(s) for sale. We do not manage 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).


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.