Ptarmigan Trail - Monitor Ridge

Cougar, Washington

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2 Reviews
4 out of 5
This hike takes you through dense forest and across an open slope with a great view. You’ll then make the nontechnical but strenuous climb up the south side of Mount St. Helens to its summit on the rim of the 1980 eruption crater. This route climbs through three of the four life zones encountered in Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. The only place on the mountain where these zones exist at present is on the south side between the Plains of Abraham and the South Fork Toutle River Canyon. The 1980 eruption obliterated them on the north slopes. Even though the south slopes were not drastically affected by the 1980 eruption, they have been affected by other volcanic events over the past few centuries. This has caused the timberline to be at a much lower elevation than you’d expect.
A FalconGuide to Mount St. Helens

DESCRIPTION FROM:

A FalconGuide to Mount St. Helens

by Fred Barstad (Falcon Guides)

This hike takes you through dense forest and across an open slope with a great view. You’ll then make the nontechnical but strenuous climb up the south side of Mount St. Helens to its summit on the rim of the 1980 eruption crater. This route climbs through three of the four life zones encountered in Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. The only place on the mountain where these zones exist at present is on the south side between the Plains of Abraham and the South Fork Toutle River Canyon.

The 1980 eruption obliterated them on the north slopes. Even though the south slopes were not drastically affected by the 1980 eruption, they have been affected by other volcanic events over the past few centuries. This has caused the timberline to be at a much lower elevation than you’d expect.

©  Fred Barstad/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Cougar
Distance: 9.2
Elevation Gain: 4,615 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: Day hike
Season: June through September
Trailhead Elevation: 3,750 feet
Top Elevation: 8,365 feet
Local Contacts: Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Local Maps: USGS Mount St. Helens
Driving Directions: Directions to Ptarmigan Trail - Monitor Ridge

Recent Trail Reviews

6/25/2010
0

Fantastic, incredibly steep hike. It was bright and sunny once we got above the clouds, with amazing views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams. But the best park of the hike was sliding down the snow.


6/27/2009
0

The hike was half in snow and half in ash and loose gravel. There is not a trail up the mountain past treeline follow the snow path to the rim.



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Apr 2018