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    Ptarmigan Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    6.8 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    281 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Ptarmigan Trail is a 6.8 km moderate trail near the base of Mount Saint Helens. This trail is suitable for beginners and families and doesn’t get very busy. There are nice views along the switchbacks, but there are also often mosquitoes- bring spray!

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    Route Description for Ptarmigan Trail

    Ptarmigan Trail is a fairly easy and straightforward hike near Mount Saint Helens. This route is used by both half-day hikers and by those heading up Mount Saint Helens via Monitor Ridge. It’s not too challenging and has nice views from the switchbacks.

    This route begins from the Climber’s Bivouac Trailhead. The trail rises 305 m through the woods and into alpine meadows, giving you varied scenery. The first half of the hike is mostly flat, then the grade increases for the second half. Look back as you ascend the switchbacks since this is where most of the view can be seen.

    The trail ends just after you cross Swift Creek at the junction with Loowit Trail. Turn back and retrace your steps to the trailhead.

    Getting to the Ptarmigan Trail Trailhead

    The trailhead for the Ptarmigan Trail is at Climber’s Bivouac at the end of Climber’s Bivouac Road.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground

      Climber’s Bivouac

    • When to do


    • Pets allowed

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Ptarmigan Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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    Ptarmigan Trail Reviews

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