Climbing permits for Mount St. Helens will go on sale Monday, March 18 at 7:00 a.m. PDT through Recreation.gov. Permits are required for all climbers year-round, but between April 1 and October 31 the number of climbers is limited to protect natural resources. During this period permits must be purchased online in advance. Climbing permits for trips during these months will be available first-come, first-served on Recreation.gov for $15 per person with a $6 fee per permit reservation. Climbing groups are limited to 12 people per permit.
Although most aspects of the climbing program will remain the same, there are a few changes this year. When securing a permit, the person purchasing the permit will need to enter the names of all climbers in the group. Each climber in the group will need to carry their identification that matches the list of climbers on the permit. Forest partner Mount St. Helens Institute will continue to provide climbing information and climbing route conditions. Climbers can also sign up for updates from Mount St. Helens Institute at: www.mshinstitute.org.
The new system offers increased flexibility for climbers. Permit holders will be able to change the members of the climbing group, as well as cancel or refund climbing permits until 14 days before their climb. Climbers will also be able to show a digitally downloaded version of their permit in lieu of a paper copy.
“Climbing to the summit of Mount St. Helens is a unique way for people to experience and appreciate the beauty of this amazing landscape,” said Mount St. Helens Monument Ranger Rebecca Hoffman.
Before March 18, climbers should create an account on Recreation.gov to help expedite their permit purchase when permits go on sale. For more information about Mount St. Helens climbing permits visit: www.fs.usda.gov/goto/climbingmsh