Ptarmigan Trail - Monitor Ridge

Cougar, Washington 98616

Ptarmigan Trail - Monitor Ridge

Ptarmigan Trail - Monitor Ridge Professional Review and Guide

"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."

Ptarmigan Trail - Monitor Ridge Reviews

4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars
icon2 Total
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.
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.

Ptarmigan Trail - Monitor Ridge Photos

Trail Information

Nearby City
4,615 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Skill Level
Day hike
June through September
3,750 feet
Trailhead Elevation
8,365 feet
Top Elevation
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Local Contacts
USGS Mount St. Helens
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018