Cycling Windy Ridge - Mt. St. Helens
Ride 26 miles gaining 4,275’ to elevation 4,267 at 2.1% average grade.
Climb summary by PJAMM contributor Stephen Jones, Olympia, WA.
The Windy Ridge climb is a beautiful ascent up to, and into, the blast zone of the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument -- the closest you can get to the crater on a paved road. The ride begins at the Woods Creek Watchable Wildlife Trailhead on National Forest Road 25, about six miles south of Randle, WA (parking, restroom, no water). Proceed south on NFR 25 for 14 miles and turn right onto National Forest Road 99, which climbs to an intermediate high point at Bear Meadows before traversing Windy Ridge to the end of the pavement at a scenic overlook (restroom, no water).
An alternative route of ascent is the Norway Pass road (NFR 26), which is no longer maintained by the Forest Service (rough pavement, a few washouts) and rejoins FR 99 at Meta Lake, just beyond Bear Meadows. Due to the road condition, descending the Norway Pass road is not advised.
The route is closed in winter. For current conditions and snow levels, check the Gifford Pinchot National Forest website or call the Randle Ranger Station (360.497.1100) or the Gifford Pinchot headquarters (360.891.5000).