Hike to Norway Pass

Rate this Adventure Washington Norway Pass Trailhead

Added by

See spectacular views of Spirit Lake, thousands of sun bleached trees all blown down at the same time, in in the same direction and the scarred mountain itself. This is a great way to get a glance at a wild, American icon.

Just 96 miles south of Seattle, and 50 miles northeast of Portland, Mt. St. Helens and its wild, rugged beauty awaits you.

Starting at the Norway Pass Trailhead parking lot, walk a dusty and sometimes ashy trail through recovering forest, low brush, wildflowers and blown down, sun bleached logs. The destruction is still palpable all these years later.

In .9 miles you will run into the junction with the Independence Ridge Trail (227A). Turn right and continue another 1.3 miles to Norway Pass.

You will gain elevation steadily so make sure you carry plenty of water and wear sun protection. The trial is exposed, young willows provide minimal shade.

You will turn left around a large prominence and all at once the mountain will appear. It's a "whoa" worthy experience.

Once at the pass, grab a seat on a log, prepare your lunch and drink in this one of a kind view of Spirit Lake. Watch as the log jam makes is ghostly journey around the coves and along the shoreline. Ponder the force of the blast and the destruction still visible after all these years. Inspect the curious uniformity all around you; the logs appearing to be laid down carefully and with intention.

When you are ready to return, retrace your steps.

If you want to explore more, you have the option to continue up for about half a mile on to Bear Pass. If the weather is clear you may be treated to views of Rainier and Adams. If it is very clear, you may even see Mt. Hood.

Detailed driving directions can be found at www.fs.usda.gov, search for Norway Pass Trailhead.

Pack List

  • $5.00 per vehicle per day - On site payment is NOT available. Passes available at Bear Meadows, Meta Lake, Windy Ridge or online.
  • Interagency and Northwest Forest Pass are acceptable
  • Hiking Boots
  • Backpack
  • Water - water in NOT available at the trailhead
  • Food
  • 10 Essentials
  • Layers
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun protection
  • Trekking poles (optional)
  • Camera
  • Wide angle lens
  • Circular Polarizer
  • ND Filters
  • Tripod
Read More

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Kim Morris

A photog with a must-see list that doesn't end. A perpetual road tripper. My batteries are charged, SD cards are cleared, and I am ready for the next adventure.

Activities:

Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

4.4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

860 Feet

Features:

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

More Adventures Nearby

Hike Mailbox Peak New Trail

Washington / Mailbox Trailhead

*Disclaimer this article is in regards to the newly built trail.* For the old trail, head to Hike Mailbox Peak.  Just off of exit 34, Mailbox Peak offers a birds-eye view of the surrounding area.

Austin Johnson
60 Saves

Hike to Grand Valley via Grand Pass

Washington / Grand Pass Trail

Camping is available around Grand Lake, Moose Lake, and Gladys Lake. Camping / backpacking requires permits from May 1 - September 30th.  Photos: Sean Munson, Sankara Subramanian, Wild Trees

Hike the Little Quilcene Trail

Washington / Little Quilcene Trailhead

Little Quilcene Trail is a 16.1 mile out and back trail close to Sequim, Washington. The trail is an alternate route to the Mt. Townsend summit.