Summit Climbs

Questions? Email or call (360) 207-1675

“We had a great trip. Our trip leader was knowledgeable, provided excellent leadership, and had many interesting facts and stories about the area and Mount St. Helens and the eruption.” ~ Peter “I had an amazing time exploring Mount St. Helens and soaking in the amazing views. The group was great and the guides and volunteers were wonderful.” ~ Jennifer “Excellent guiding! The hike was hard, but the hike leaders were very positive and encouraging and kept the group together. A wonderful experience.!” ~Beth

Classic Summit Climb

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 volcano and learn about the area’s natural and cultural 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 Summit Climb provides an unforgettable adventure to those bold enough to climb an active Cascade volcano!

Summit Climb With a Geologist

Led by a professional geologist, you will delve into the fascinating and complex geology of Mount St. Helens, while experiencing it firsthand! 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 looking to combine their interests of climbing and geology.

  • Minimum Age: 12+ (minors must be accompanied by an adult)
  • Maximum Group Size: 10
  • Permits: Fee includes a climbing permit.
  • Duration: 6:00 AM ~ 6:00 PM
  • Classic Summit Climb Cost: $288 / person. $15/ice axe rental.
  • **Summit with a Geologist: $298 / person.


  Winter Route (typically June climbs) Summer Route (typically July climbs or later)
Distance 12 miles round-trip 10 miles round-trip
Elevation Gain 5,500 ft 4,500 ft
Location Marble Mountain Sno-Park Climber's Bivouac Trailhead


We strongly recommend that you conduct training hikes or routines before you climb Mount St. Helens. Your fitness will be the best indicator of your enjoyment of the experience and your success on the climb. See our suggested training hikes.

Additional Information

Route Descriptions
Program Policies
Suggested Packing List
Training Hikes
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Recommended Lodging Near Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens Institute operates under a special use permit from the US Forest Service and is honored to work on the Traditional Cultural Property, ancestral and present-day lands of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation. Mount St. Helens Institute is an equal opportunity provider.