Ptarmigan Trail #216A is a hiking and biking trail in Skamania County, Washington. It is within Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument. It is 1.9 miles long and begins at 3,756 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,033 feet. The Climber's Bivouac camp site is near the trailhead.
Ptarmigan Trail #216A Professional Reviews and Guides
"Folks looking to bag the summit start here. The Ptarmigan Trail is the only route remaining to get to the summit of Mount St. Helens since the eruption of May 18, 1980. Hikers who don’t plan to summit will also enjoy this route, as far as the Loowit Trail junction. The trail weaves through wonderful open forests, runs along nice ridgelines, and offers incredible views over the Yale Reservoir Basin all the way to Mount Hood in Oregon and Mount Adams to the east."
--Dan A. Nelson , Day Hiking: South Cascades (The Mountaineers Books).
"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, A FalconGuide to Mount St. Helens (Falcon Guides).
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