Mount St. Helens and COVID-19

Updated July 27, 2020 3:00 PM

WHAT IS CLOSED AT MOUNT ST. HELENS?

  • Ape Cave (road is gated after Trail of Two Forests)
  • Cascade Peaks Information Station
  • Coldwater Science and Learning Center

WHAT IS OPEN AT MOUNT ST HELENS?

South Side

  • Climber's Bivouac Trailhead
  • Marble Mountain Sno-Park
  • Trail of Two Forests
  • Lava Canyon (bridge on trail is closed for safety/structural reasons), Ape Canyon, Lahar Viewpoint 
  • All Forest Road 81 Trailheads
  • Siouxon Creek Trailhead
  • Cedar Flats Trailhead
  • Sunset Day Use, campground is closed
  • Kalama Horse Camp
  • Forest Road 81, road conditions are poor and impassible in some places
  • Pine Creek Information Center (open Thur -Mon, 10 AM - 5 PM)

East Side

  • Forest Road 25 (Northwoods to Randle)
  • Forest Road 99 to Windy Ridge

North Side/504 Corridor

  • Johnston Ridge Observatory (Gift Shop is open daily 10 AM - 6 PM, visitor's center is closed, limited capacity, masks required)
  • Hummocks Trailhead
  • Castle Lake Viewpoint
  • Coldwater Lake Recreation Area, includes boat launch, picnic area, Lakes trailhead, and Birth of the Lake interpretive trail
  • South Coldwater Trailhead (requires parking at Hummocks Trailhead and walking approx. 2 miles on 504) 

IS MY CLIMBING PERMIT STILL VALID?

The Mount St. Helens Climbing Permits will resume Friday, May 15th to allow climbing for those who had previously reserved permits. Not all services, such as restrooms, may be available at the trailhead--please come prepared for your visit, and pack out all your garbage with you. While parked at the site, leave a copy of your permit on your vehicle's dashboard as verification of your permit, as other Forest Service sites in the surrounding area may still be closed at the time of your climb. Practice social distancing at the trailhead and along the climbing route—do not congregate at the summit of the mountain or in the parking lot. Do not take unnecessary risks to prevent stressing rural emergency services during the COVID-19 outbreak, and know your personal limits. Please check the Gifford Pinchot website for the most up-to-date information.

CAN I CAMP AT MARBLE MOUNTAIN SNO-PARK THE NIGHT BEFORE MY CLIMB?

Yes, but only for the night before your climb. Campers must provide proof of their climbing permit and leave a copy visible on the dashboard of their car overnight and during their climb. Staying for two or more nights is not permitted.

WHEN WILL ALL DEVELOPED RECREATION SITES BE OPEN?

While trailheads and developed recreation sites will start to reopen, campgrounds and visitor centers are likely to stay closed. We’ll assess which developed recreation sites make sense to open first and then work methodically through phases to continue opening sites, areas and facilities as it makes sense and aligns with local, state and federal policies.

WILL PERMITTEE-MANAGED SITES (SUCH AS SKI-ARE AMENITIES OR VENDOR-MANAGED LODGES AND CAMPSITES REOPEN?

Closure decisions regarding permittee managed sites were made by the individual permittees. Permittees will make the decision whether to reopen in accordance with their own review and state guidance for their industry.  All permittees must adhere to federal, state, and local laws.


Responsible Recreation During COVID-19

Getting outside is as important as ever for our mental health, and we want you to feel prepared and safe as you hit the trail. Here are some recommendations to protect you and other hikers during this time. Please see the Gifford Pinchot National Forest Alerts & Notices page for closure updates.