Phew! I just finished booking our Mount St Helens hiking permit in July during our 10 week road trip this summer, and that was truly stressful! I got the idea of us hiking this famous volcano a few weeks ago when I stumbled upon a fantastic post at The Big Outside and after showing it to everyone, we knew we wanted to take this amazing hike on. With only 100 available spots per day combined with the popularity of this epic hike, spots go fast! If this is something you are hoping to do in the future, I am going to tell you how to get a Mount St Helens hiking permit for yourself.
How to Get a Mount St Helens Hiking Permit
First bit of advice- book ASAP! Your Mount St Helens hiking permit can be reserved on the Mount St. Helens Institute website. Reservations for the 2016 season opened at 9 AM pacific time this morning, and by the time I was finished booking 5 minutes later, all of the 100 permits of the day we wanted were gone. But thankfully, we got the date we wanted before they were all snapped up. If you are flexible with your dates, there are still permits available for many other days in the summer, but book as soon as you can to secure your spot.
If you aren’t able to book right away, or the dates you wanted are already gone, don’t despair. The Mount St Helens Institute, which manages the Mount St Helens hiking permit system, allows face value sales of reserved permits for those who reserved and can no longer hike on that day by visiting www.purmit.com. I wish all wilderness permits allowed transfers like this! Since many wilderness permits require such advance booking, there are often times that things come up that make the reservation you booked months ago, impossible now. Having the ability to transfer a now unwanted Mount St Helens hiking permit not only allows you to recoup your costs, but allows others to experience a hike they would not have otherwise been able to.
If you still are not able to procure a Mount St Helens hiking permit, you can drive up the mountain and still witness amazing views of the crater. Click HERE for more information about driving routes.
Information About Mount St Helens
Located within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mount St. Helens erupted about 35 years ago on May 18th, 1980 after an earthquake caused a major shift in the the mountain landscape which released volcanic gasses and caused the volcano to erupt. The Mount St. Helens Science and Learning Center website is a wealth of information about this major geologic event. Today, visitors flock to the site of the eruption to witness the otherworldly landscape for themselves. Managed by the U.S. Forest Service, Mount St. Helens has been named a National Volcanic Monument.
We are planning to camp in nearby Seaquest State Park while visiting the area and hiking to the caldera which looks like a lovely state park to visit on its own merit.
I am so looking forward to visiting Mount St. Helens this summer and am so excited that we were able to reserve a Mount St. Helens hiking permit. I wish you all the luck you need to get your own Mount St. Helens hiking permit and experience this amazing hike for yourself!