Ptarmigan Trail

Cougar, Washington

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1 Review
4 out of 5
The Ptarmigan Trail begins to climb gently to the north as it leaves the parking area. The wide, well-maintained trail heads north through fir forest and huckleberry bushes. Avalanche lilies dot the ground between the bushes and trees. A sign marks the boundary of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument 0.3 miles from the trailhead. At 1.3 miles is the first good view of Mount St. Helens past the parking area. Now beargrass shares the openings with the huckleberries. The tread gets close to a lava flow 0.3 mile farther along. As you climb, Mount Hood and Mount Adams come into view to the south and east.
Best Easy Day Hikes: Mount St. Helens

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Easy Day Hikes: Mount St. Helens

by Fred Barstad (Falcon Guides)

The Ptarmigan Trail begins to climb gently to the north as it leaves the parking area. The wide, well-maintained trail heads north through fir forest and huckleberry bushes. Avalanche lilies dot the ground between the bushes and trees. A sign marks the boundary of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument 0.3 miles from the trailhead.

At 1.3 miles is the first good view of Mount St. Helens past the parking area. Now beargrass shares the openings with the huckleberries. The tread gets close to a lava flow 0.3 mile farther along. As you climb, Mount Hood and Mount Adams come into view to the south and east.

©  Fred Barstad/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Cougar
Distance: 4.6
Elevation Gain: 1,050 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: Day hike
Season: Best spring thru fall
Local Contacts: Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Local Maps: USGS Mount St. Helens
Driving Directions: Directions to Ptarmigan Trail

Recent Trail Reviews

6/1/2008
0

I have hiked this one twice, once scouting the Monitor Ridge trail up Mt Saint Helens and the second time on my way to Monitor Ridge for my summit attempt. It's a beautiful windy hike through the trees with some intense switchbacks and great views. It's not a loop, which is what I prefer. But this out and back is great.



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