Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
7.60 mi (12.23 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

If you are looking for a mellow trail with breathtaking mountain views, lakes, wildflowers, and valleys without all the crowds, then Harry's Ridge in Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is one to check out!

The trail starts out at the Johnston Ridge Observatory, where you will be greeted with amazing views of Mount St. Helens and it's blast zone. On the weekends the observatory may be busy with tourists and families looking to check out the view point. From here take Boundary Trail, where the trail starts to descend away from the observatory crowds and into the untouched mountainside. Throughout the trail, devastation from the 1980 eruption is still prevalent, as the terrain is very fragile yet has a very rugged appeal. The wildflowers and greenery becomes more and more abundant as the trail continues, and the mountain views seem to get better by the step.

It is a good idea to wait for oncoming traffic once you reach the catwalk section of the trail as the path is extremely narrow at certain points and there is a precipitous drop on one side. Although those who fear heights might find this section intimidating, it's a highlight of the trail, and you should be just fine staying close to the wall! After crossing the catwalk the views of the Toutle River Valley and Spirit Lake will not disappoint.

At about 3.5 miles there's a junction sign that will point you to the left and onto the final push to Harry's Ridge. The ridge overlooks Spirit Lake and gives you the best views of the mountain yet! This is also the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat before heading back to the observatory.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass

Pros

Great views, wild flowers, good trail condition

Cons

Narrow katwalk

Trailhead Elevation

4,314.00 ft (1,314.91 m)

Net Elevation Gain

1,400.00 ft (426.72 m)

Features

Historically significant
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Geologically significant

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Southwest Washington/Mount St. Helens, Washington
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Southwest Washington/Mount St. Helens, Washington
Southwest Washington/Mount St. Helens, Washington
Southwest Washington/Mount St. Helens, Washington

Comments

07/16/2017
Amazing hike with epic views, abundant wildflowers, and unique geologic features! The narrow catwalk section is closed but the new bypass trail is very nice. Note that parking in the huge lot is free but there is an $8/person fee to access the Visitor Center...it's also apparently required for trail use. You can pay upon returning from your hike if you leave before it opens at 10am (a NW Forest Pass or National Parks pass gets you in for free).
06/14/2017
This is a great hike with great views. The Gold-mantled squirrels are entertaining. At present there are many wildflowers in bloom. Did see a few Elk at a distance. Part of the trail has been rerouted, but the detour is well marked and easy to follow. There were a few patches of snow to cross, but not difficult to navigate.
08/26/2016
Hi Rebecca,
You are correct, dogs are not allowed on trails in the monument's restricted area. There is a designated pet area near the parking lot for the Johnston Ridge Observatory, however.
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