Share:

Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

Southwest Washington/Mount St. Helens, Washington

Start Exploring
Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike

Share:

Advertisement
  • Marble Mountain Sno-Park, composting toilet facility.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Mushrooms abound along the side of the trail.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Gorgeous views along the Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Route.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Wayfinding over the lava flow toward Chocolate Falls.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Chocolate Falls.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Campsite just below treeline on the Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Route.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Glimpse of the summit of Mount St. Helens (8,365') from our base camp.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Route.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Mount Saint Helens (8,365') at dusk with the Big Dipper constelation overhead.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Route.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Sunrise and cloud cap over Mount Adams (12,281'). - Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Route.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Into the clouds on the Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Route.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Pushing up and out of the clouds.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Route.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Route.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Route.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Route.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • The crater rim. Mount Adams (12,281') in the background.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Mount Adams (12,281') in the distance.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Route.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Looking south down onto the clouds below.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • Looking down into the crater and the steaming lava dome from the crater rim.- Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
  • - Mount St. Helens Worm Flows Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Excellent introduction to mountaineeriing. Views of the neighboring cascade peaks and a glimpse into an active volcano. Route not populated in the summer months.
Cons: 
Obtaining a permit. Long, strenuous hike. Weather can change quickly.
Advertisement
Region:
Southwest Washington/Mount St. Helens, WA
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
5,000.00 ft (1,524.00 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer
Total Distance: 
10.00 mi (16.09 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,700.00 ft (822.96 m)
Current Local Weather:
Advertisement
Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Mount St. Helens is an excellent introduction to Cascade mountaineering. After a long, strenuous climb, you are rewarded with stunning views of the Cascades. On clear days you can see Mount Rainer and Goat Rocks to the north; Mount Hood to the south, and Mount Adams to the east. In addition to these views, you have the opportunity to gaze down into the crater of an active volcano!

Mount St. Helens is snow covered most of the year, when proper equipment such as a fall arrest device and crampons are advised. Most of the snow has melted away by the late summer months, however, when it is possible to climb this route without the extra equipment. Note that the route is full of loose rock and volcanic soil that can make footing tricky, especially on the decent. 

The Worm Flows climbing route is the designated the winter route. This route is longer than the more popular Monitor Ridge Climbing Route summer route because it starts lower on the mountain, which means you'll have little to no crowds along the way. The route is well marked until past the tree line. Look for wooden poles on the lava rock ridges to guide you up to the USGS seismic station. From there, follow the ridge upward as you look for a worn trail, as there are no markers. The ridge will take you to the intersection of the Monitor Ridge Climbing route and up to the summit. Remember this intersection, as it will be important to find on your way down; if you are using a GPS, mark this intersection with a waypoint.

The round-trip climb can take 7 to 12 hours to complete. A fun alternative is to split the climb into two days and make a base camp below the tree line.

Climbing between April 1 and October 31 requires a climbing permit from the Mount St. Helens Institute, and permits must be purchased online in advance at Mount St. Helens Institute. Since weather can change quickly, it's advisable to bring a map, a compass, and/or a GPS.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Advertisement
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(8 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(51 within a 30 mile radius)

Advertisement
Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
87 Members
Who's Done It
52 Members
Submission by
Contributor
110 Adventures Explored
68 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info