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Climber's Bivouac Trailhead

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Climber's Bivouac is the trailhead for the Mount Saint Helens Hike (Fallsfreak)


Hikes starting here

Fees and Regulations

  • NW Forest Pass (or America the Beautiful Pass) required at Climber's Bivouac
  • Climbing Permit ($15 + $7 service fee) is required for every hiker wanting to climb above 4800 feet, i. e. higher than the Loowit Trail. These permits are bought over the internet at active.com, and are picked up at Lone Fir Inn in Cougar, WA, about 30 minutes away from the trailhead.

Driving Directions

Follow I-5 north from the Columbia River about 21 miles and take Exit 21 signed for Highway 503 toward Cougar/Woodland. Take a right on to Lewis River Highway (WA-503), with signs for Cougar. Follow the Lewis River Highway for 28 miles to the Lone Fir Inn (it will be on your left), where you'll pick up your special permits. There is a gas station just past the Lone Fir Inn (also on the left), and it is the only gas station in many miles, so if you need to fill up, now would be the time.

After the Lone Fir Inn, continue east on the Lewis River Highway 3.2 miles. The road turns left and you'll drive over the canal that supplies the Lower Swift Creek Power Station. After crossing the canal, stay straight and follow Rd #90 for 3.4 miles. Then take a left onto Road #83. After 3 miles up Road 83, turn left onto Road 81 (in winter it will be closed, so you'll follow Rd 83 for a couple more miles, to the gate at Marble Mtn Snowpark). Go up Rd 81 for 1.7 miles and turn right onto gravel FD 830 Rd at "Climbers' Bivouac" sign. This narrow road ends at trailhead in 2.6 miles.

Other Notes

The final road that leads up to Climber's Bivouac is gravel, but isn't a problem for normal passenger cars. Take care not to get too close to the edge, one slip and you're off the cliff! At the parking lot, there is a trail that heads south to the Marble Mountain Sno-Park. In the snow season, climber's have to parking at Marble Mountain Sno-Park and connect with Climber's Bivouac after around 2 miles. There are many campsites alongside FD 830 Rd, as well as many campsites in the parking lot.

Permit information: Climbing (Mount St. Helens Institute)


Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.