It’s a good time of year to begin planning for spring and summer adventures on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Permits to climb Mount St. Helens, camp overnight in the Mount Margaret Backcountry, and reserved tickets for the Ape Cave Interpretive Site may be obtained on Recreation.gov. Managing visitation at popular recreation sites helps reduce overcrowding, supports public health and safety, protects natural resources & improves visitor experience.
Mount St. Helens Climbing permits are now available at Recreation.gov https://www.recreation.gov/permits/4675309. To climb Mount St. Helens between April 1 and October 31, climbing permits are limited and must be purchased online in advance. Permits are released in one month increments on the first day of the preceding month. For example, May permits are released on April 1. All releases occur at 7:00 AM Pacific Time. Due to snow levels the current climbing route begins from Marble Mountain Sno-Park. Sno-Park permits are not required after April 1. When Forest Road 830 leading to Climbers Bivouac is cleared of snow later this Spring, climbers may start their accent from that site.
From April 1 to May 14 there is a daily limit of 350 climbers. Starting May 15 through October 31 the daily limit is 110 climbers. There is no limit on the number of climbers between November 1 and March 31. During this time permits are free of charge and self-issued at the trailhead.
Ape Cave Interpretive Site will reopen to the public on May 18, 2022. Timed reserved tickets are required to visit and will become available on recreation.gov www.recreation.gov/timed-entry/10086990 starting April 15 at 7:00 AM Pacific Time for reservation timeslots from May 18 to October 31.
Once at the site a $5/vehicle/day or valid Recreation Pass is also required. The $5 day pass is available for purchase on-site with cash or check.
Permits are required for overnight camping in the Mount Margaret Backcountry between May 1 and November 30. Permits will be available on-line at Recreation.gov https://www.recreation.gov/permits/250003 beginning April 1. Permits are released in one month increments on the first day of the preceding month. For example, May permits are released on April 1. All releases occur at 7:00 AM Pacific Time. Please note that this area is generally inaccessible due to snow until sometime in June. Check the recreation conditions report on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest website for updated information www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/giffordpinchot/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=41618&actid=51 or contact Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument Administrative Headquarters (360) 449-7800 for updates.