You’ve decided to hike Mt. St. Helens. You’ve been hiking, planning and dreaming of standing atop the summit of this majestic volcano. However, to climb during the prime season from May-October, you need permits. So, how do you get them?  In this post I’ll lay out the process as well as some tips and tricks for you!

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When are permits available? 

The $22 Permits are available on February First at 9am PST. You can get them here. Be ready right at 9am because permits go quickly and the website slows to a crawl with people trying to snag permits.

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Should I look for specific dates?

In my experience (I’ve gotten permits two years in a row), it’s much easier to pick a time of year that you would like to climb rather than think of an exact date, just because so many people are trying to get permits at once. Don’t forget it could be snowy at the summit earlier in the season and it could be hot the later you go in the summer. Washington summers get a lot warmer than people anticipate and the hike is very exposed. Weekends sell out first, there are only 100 permits available each day, so be flexible.

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What If I want to hike with friends?

One person should be in charge of buying all the permits in the group, just so you can be sure that you get to climb the same day.

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I bought my permits, what happens next?

Yay! You got them! The Mt. St Helens institute will email your permits to you soon after you complete your purchase. Since your hike won’t be for a few months, I recommend saving the permits in a special “hiking file” in your inbox. Print those bad boys out before you head down to St Helens and tuck them into a permit holder to attach to your pack the day of your climb.

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Prepare

Now that you have your permits, it’s time to start hiking. Mt. St Helens is a challenging hike. By doing high elevation hikes, you’ll be doing yourself a favor and preparing yourself for a fun day.

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If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me and maybe we’ll see each other at the summit!

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