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Independence Ridge

South Cascades

Location

South Cascades -- Mount St. Helens
View map below

Length

2.6 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 40 ft.
Highest Point: 4500 ft.

Rating

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WTA worked here: 2021
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 
 

Hike a connector trail in the Mount St. Helens area linking Independence Pass with the Boundary Trail. Views from here include Spirit Lake and the north side of the volcano. 

At 1.3 miles long, this short trail makes for a lovely little hike that heads south to north on an east-facing slope.  The hike provides views of Mount Adams off to the east and Mount St. Helens to the south. 

The northern trailhead is 1.2 miles from the Norway Pass parking area. At the southern end, it intersects with Independence Pass trail 227 one mile from the trailhead. Between the southern trailhead and the Independence Pass intersection, the trail is open and wide without obstructions. It's important to note that this trail crosses two seasonal gullies that periodically wash out (and are, as needed, repaired by trail realignments). 

This trail used to comprise part of a lollipop loop, hikable from the Norway Pass trailhead or the Independence Pass trailhead, but because of washouts halfway through it, hiking the loop is discourage. 

Blueberries come in season mid-July and bear scat with berry seeds are evident. The best time for this hike is from May to October. 

 

Independence Ridge

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.3046, -122.0824 Open map in new window

Trailhead

South Cascades -- Mount St. Helens

Independence Ridge (#227A)

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Romano C

Theisen A. Day Hiking: Mount St. Helens. Mountaineers Books. Seattle. 2015.

Mount St. Helens & Mount Adams. National Geographic #822. 2014.

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument & Administrative Area. Forest Service. 2003.

Buy the Green Trails Mount St. Helens NVM No. 332S map

Getting There

From State Highway 12 in Randle, take Hwy 131S south for 2.8 miles to FR 25. Continue on FR 25 for another 24.3 miles to the junction with FR 99. Turn right onto FR 99 towards Windy Ridge. Drive approximately 9.2 miles to FR 26 and turn right. The Norway Pass Trailhead will be .09 miles on your left on FR 26. FR 99 is closed in the winter.  

From Cougar, take Lewis River Road east for 2.8 miles. The road then changes to FR 90. Continue on FR 90 for 16 miles and stay to the left on FR 25, pass the Pine Creek Information Center. Drive FR 25 for 25 miles to the junction of FR 99. Turn left onto FR 99 towards Windy Ridge. Drive approximately 9.2 miles to FR 26 and turn right. The Norway Pass Trailhead will be .09 miles on your left on FR 26.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 

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Independence Ridge

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