To acquire a climbing permit for Mt. St. Helens, you must contact the Mount St. Helens Institute (MSHI). The MSHI is responsible for issuing permits and managing access to the mountain via their website or from their headquarters in Trout Lake, WA.

Permits are required year-round for all attempts at summitting Mt. St Helen’s summit as well as all routes within two miles of its crater rim and open meadows on its flanks below 4,800 feet elevation . There are several types of permits available: 24 hour Summit Permit ($22), 7-Day Climbing Permit ($32), 30-Day Climbing Permit ($45) and an Annual Pass which covers all climbs throughout the year ($120).

Climbers can also purchase additional optional permits such as overnight camping in either a tent or snow cave (additional $5 fee per night) or small groups with up to 6 members (additional $10 fee). To apply online, climbers will need to provide basic information including name(s), address(es), phone number, email address and other requested information depending on what type of permit they are applying for. Upon completion of application climbers will receive confirmation email and must then print their permit and bring it with them to the mountain.

Climbers should also be aware that they are required to sign in at the ranger station located near the Climber’s Bivouac before hiking onto the mountain. They will need to provide their permit as well as answer questions about their planned route and any equipment they are carrying.

Mt. St Helens is a beautiful, yet potentially dangerous mountain, so climbers must always prepare appropriately for the conditions they may encounter during their climb. Climbers should also be aware of local regulations such as no pets or weapons allowed, campfires are prohibited in certain areas and disposal of human waste is required.

By adhering to the regulations and taking responsibility for their own safety, climbers can have a safe and enjoyable experience on Mt. St Helens. Be sure to get your permit before you go, and happy climbing!

To reduce crowding and protect natural features, the number of climbers per day on Mount St. Helens is subject to a quota from April 1 to November 30.

During the quota season, permits must be purchased online in advance. A permit may be printed up to 14 days before your reservation date. Once your permit has been printed, you cannot make changes. Outside the quota season, permits are free of charge and self-issued at the trailhead.

  • April 1 – May 14: 300 climbers/day. Must be purchased online in advance.
  • May 15 – November 30: 110 climbers/day. Must be purchased online in advance.
  • December 1 – March 31: Unlimited climbers. Permit is free and self-issue at the trailhead.


Climbing permits cost $15 per person per day. A $6 reservation fee is charged per transaction.

Permits will now be one per Group, rather than one per individual.

The Permit Holder (the purchaser) of the climbing permit can make a reservation for up to 12 total climbing Group Members. The Permit Holder must be included in the climbing group.

The Permit Holder must provide the names of all Group Members at the time of purchase. While climbing Group Members’ names can be adjusted after the purchase, the Permit Holder name cannot be changed nor refunded without cancelling the entire permit. All climbers in the Group must carry a government-issued photo ID that matches their name on the list of members on the purchased permit.

Permit Holders are advised to visit before March 18 to set up their account to expedite the permit purchasing process.