Ptarmigan Trail 216A

Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington

Distance1.9mi
Elevation Gain1,033ft
Trailhead Elevation3,756ft
Top4,679ft
Elevation Min/Max3756/4679ft
Elevation Start/End3756/3756ft

Ptarmigan Trail 216A

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. This trail connects with the following: Loowit Trail and Monitor Ridge Climbing Route.

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."

"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 #216A Reviews

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6/25/2010
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.
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6/27/2009
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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6/1/2008
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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Ptarmigan Trail #216A Photos

Trail Information

Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument
Nearby City
Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument
Parks
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
USFS Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Local Contacts
Green Trails No. 364 Mount St. Helens
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Nov 2018