How to Obtain a Permit
ALL CLIMBERS MUST HAVE A PERMIT
2015 CLIMBING PERMITS ARE NOW ON SALE
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All climbers must register and obtain a climbing permit, no matter the time of year.
If you are climbing between November 1st, 2014 - March 31, 2015, you must self-register at the trailhead. There is no fee for permits during this period.
If you are climbing between April 1st - October 31st, you must purchase your permit by clicking the “SEARCH NOW” button listed above. Permits for the 2015 climbing season are currently available. Permits are $22.00.
If you have never climbed Mount St. Helens before, consider joining the Mount St. Helens Institute on a Guided Climb!
The total permit fee of $22 includes a $5 service charge which goes towards the MSHI Mountain Stewards Volunteer Program to help maintain and protect the climbing routes.
WHAT IF PERMITS ARE SOLD OUT ON THE DAY I WANT TO CLIMB?
If the date you want to climb has no more available permits OR if you have purchased a climbing permit and no longer are able to climb on that date, please visit purmit.com to search for permits for sale or to offer your climbing permit(s) for sale.
The Mount St. Helens Institute offers guided climbs for those who wish to climb the mountain with experienced guides in a group setting. Read more about our Guided Climbs. For those who desire to climb with a professional geologist, we recommend our Geology on High climbs.
Mount St. Helens is not merely a mountain—it is an active volcano. You need to be prepared for extreme weather, possible ash fall, and other hazards. Read about how to prepare for your climb.
CURRENT CONDITIONS ON MOUNT ST HELENS
See the U.S. Forest Service Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument website for more information and the most current climbing condition updates. Visit the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center for the most up to date avalanche forecast information.
CLIMBING AN ACTIVE VOLCANO
At 8,328 feet high (as measured by USGS in 2009), Mount St. Helens offers climbers a breathtaking view from the crater rim. Although it is not a technical climb, it is strenuous and hazardous due to ice, large boulders, loose pumice, fast-changing weather and volcanism. Climbers should be in very good physical condition, well equipped, informed about volcanic hazards, and have plenty of water and food.
The Mount St. Helens Institute has partnered with the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument to help protect the volcano’s fragile features and to ensure climbers have a safe, low-impact experience on the volcano.
Before climbing Mount St. Helens, please read climbing rules, road and trail conditions, and other important information from the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.
- The total fee of $22 includes a $7 service charge- $5 of which goes toward the Mountain Stewards volunteer program to maintain and protect the climb route, and a $2 cart fee.
- A permit is required to climb above 4,800 feet on Mount St. Helens year-round. Begun in 1987, the permit system helps protect the volcano and its organisms from harm, reduces crowding, and helps inform climbers regarding hazards, Leave No Trace principles, and safety.
- After purchasing online, the registration receipt will be emailed to your entered email address. The email will be from “Kinsail,” our cart manager, and occasionally this may be directed into your junk-mail folder.
- Each climber must prominently display a hang-tag permit on his or her clothes or pack. Permits are valid for 24 hours starting at midnight of the climb date and may be picked up one day prior to the climb date.
- Groups are limited to 12 climbers. (Carried children do not need a permit.)
- There are two kinds of permits: off-season (free) and peak-season ($22 per person). For off-season permits (November 1 through March 31), climbers must self-register at the trailhead before climbing. For peak-season permits (April 1 through October 31) climbers must purchase a permit in advance from this website.
- As of now, all permits must be purchased at least 24 hours before climbing.
- Permits cannot be exchanged for another date or refunded. You may, however, sell or give it to another person to climb on the date of the permit. All sales are final. Read about how to buy your permit.
- From May 15 through October 31, the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument limits permits to 100 per day to protect the volcano from over-use. Permits are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Climbers must purchase peak-season permits at least 24 hours in advance of their climb date.
- Climbers must read and sign their permits and abide by permit rules. Group leaders may register and pick up permits for their entire group.
- Dogs are allowed but not recommended. Ash and pumice can be harmful to a dog’s pads, and dogs are as susceptible to snowblindness as humans. There is no shade or water. If your dog gets into trouble, there is no rescue system.
|April 1 through May 14||$22||500 climbers per day|
|May 15 through October 31||$22||100 climbers per day|
|November 1 through March 31||none||none|