You are here: Home Find a Hike Hiking Guide Norway Pass

Norway Pass

» REI » Amazon

A portion of all book sales from the links above benefits WTA and helps protect and maintain our trails.

Hike just over 2 miles west from Norway Pass, and you hit...Norway Pass. No, it's not some magical bending of the fabric of the universe, merely a quirk of the cartographer. The Norway Pass at the trailhead is one of those road features named for nearby places, whereas the true Norway Pass is found on the ridge above Spirit Lake and below Mount Margaret. To get from the wannabe pass to the really-is pass, you'll stroll along a stunning trail through the blown-down woods up onto a high windswept ridge with incredible views of the mighty Mount St. Helens and the expanse of the Mount Margaret backcountry area.

Savvy hikers will get to the trailhead early-not to avoid crowds of hikers (well, there will be these as well on a nice summer weekend), but rather to be hiking in the coolness of early morning with the sunrise hitting the open slopes around you!

Hike west on the Boundary Trail about a mile through the dusty ash-laden landscape to the junction with the Independence Ridge Trail (No. 227A). The scenery around the trail is total devastation, with a few strong signs of returning life-flowers and shrubs are coming back to this scorched zone. At the trail junction, turn right (north) to stay on the Boundary Trail.

About 0.25 mile past the trail fork, you'll come around a bend in the trail and be able to look forward, seeing the next mile of trail laid out before you, all the way to Norway Pass. As you stride along this exposed trail, you'll enjoy views north down in the upper Green River valley.

At 2.2 miles from the trailhead you'll crest Norway Pass proper. You'll suddenly be basking in the stunning views of Spirit Lake, and Mount St. Helens' gaping breach beyond. To increase your viewing pleasure, walk about 0.1 mile south on the Independence Pass Trail, which joins the Boundary Trail at Norway Pass. This short side-trek opens up views southeast to Windy Ridge.
Driving Directions:

From Randle, drive south on Forest Road 25 to its junction with FR 99 (found just past Iron Creek Falls). Turn right (west) onto FR 99 and drive 9.2 miles before turning right (north) onto FR 26. Continue about 1 mile on FR 26 to the Norway Pass trailhead.

Improve or add to this guidebook entry

Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

Recent Trip Reports

Hiked here recently? Submit a trip report!
There are 47 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Norway Pass — Nov 08, 2013 — Marcus
Day hike
Issues: Washouts | Water on trail | Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
I figured I'd get in one last hike this fall and may have pushed my luck a little. After some poor ...
I figured I'd get in one last hike this fall and may have pushed my luck a little. After some poor route planning and a failure to follow directions my friend and I wound up getting to the parking area around 12:30. It was drizzling and cloudy but there were still some patches of blue so we decided to hike anyways. From the parking lot we knew we were going above the snow line but we were surprised by how much had actually fallen. The snow was generally around mid shin but in some spots reached as high as our knees.

On our way back down we hiked about a half mile on an off shoot called 227A or boundary trail to see if we could get a better view. No such luck and that trail was a bit sketchy in some areas. On the drive out (towards Seattle) NF-99 had some ice and snow on the road in a few areas.

All in all it was just a nice hike with a steady climb, just not the view we were looking for.
Read full report with photos
Norway Pass — Nov 04, 2013 — looking for bigfoot
Day hike
Issues: Snow on trail | Road to trailhead inaccessible
Expand report text Hide report text
Snow from the snow-park on. It had been slush and had frozen. I probably could have driven beyond th...
Snow from the snow-park on. It had been slush and had frozen. I probably could have driven beyond the view point rest stop on FRD 99 but, with a low clearance vehicle I stopped there and hiked a short distance.
 
Read full report with photos
Norway Pass — Oct 28, 2013 — Joe Hendricks
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming | Fall foliage
Expand report text Hide report text
7 minutes of video highlights from the hike: http://youtu.be/CBKeiRutxl0 Cold, windy, sunny day hik...
7 minutes of video highlights from the hike: http://youtu.be/CBKeiRutxl0
Cold, windy, sunny day hike filled with amazing views of Mount Saint Helens, Mount Rainier, Mount Adams and Mount Hood. The graveyards of toppled, dead trees from the 1980 blast are dramatic!
We went past Norway Pass up to Bear Pass for some great views. Probably 6 miles roundtrip.
Read full report with photos
Norway Pass — Oct 19, 2013 — Doctorlight1
Day hike
Features: Fall foliage
Issues: Clogged drainage | No water source
Expand report text Hide report text
Arrived at the trail head at 8:30 am. There was one vehicle already there. It took about about two...
Arrived at the trail head at 8:30 am. There was one vehicle already there. It took about about two hours to get to Norway Pass. The trail was well kept. There were one area where streamlet had eroded the trail. There was very little shade. Start early and bring water. Not many hikers when I went. There were 9 others. The best view of Mt St Helens is about 0.25 miles beyond Norway Pass. As shown by the photos below.
Read full report with photos
Norway Pass — Sep 14, 2013 — somewhat slow Susan
Day hike
Features: Ripe berries
Issues: No water source
Expand report text Hide report text
This trail is in great shape, and in shady areas the huckleberries were just right. (too ripe in the...
This trail is in great shape, and in shady areas the huckleberries were just right. (too ripe in the sunnier areas). After reading other reports, I would like to comment that this is NOT as devastated as people said, especially compared with the way it was 30 years ago! Of course, the lush forests before the large explosion are nowhere near back yet, but there are lots of little clusters of young trees and they did give welcome shade breaks. (see photos).
And I am also attaching a topo map that shows an elevation difference of nearly 1,000 feet! It was worth it, for a beautiful view of the mountain at the pass.
The late summer flowers are blooming, lots of pearly everlasting and a few paintbrushes. Some of the berry bushes are turning color.
Read full report with photos
Mount St Helens from norway pass - opus.jpg
Stunning views of Mount St. Helens abound on the way to Norway Pass and Mt. Margaret. Photo: Opus
Location
South Cascades -- Mt. St. Helens
USFS Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Statistics
Roundtrip 4.5 miles
Elevation Gain 1000 ft
Highest Point 4500 ft
Features
Lakes
Wildflowers/Meadows
Mountain views
Ridges/passes
User info
Good for kids
Dogs not allowed
Northwest Forest Pass required
Guidebooks & Maps
South Cascades
Green Trails No. 332 Spirit Lake

Improve or add to this guidebook entry

Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

Map it
Red MarkerNorway Pass
46.30445 -122.0819
(46.3045, -122.0819) Open in new window
Document Actions
  • Print this
  • Share
Get the Guidebooks

Mountaineers three booksSelect content from The Mountaineers Books' guidebooks is featured in this Hiking Guide. Sales of the books from this website help protect and maintain trails.

> Shop Now

More hikes » Hike of the Week
Diablo Lake Trail (Apr 17)

Diablo Lake

North Cascades

Follow the Diablo Lake Trail up and across talus slopes on the flanks of Sourdough Mountain to impressive cascading waterfalls and stunning views. This hike in the North Cascades Institute's backyard makes a great option for an early season hike in stunning North Cascades National Park, much of which is inaccessible during the winter and spring.

Get Trail News

Subscribe to our free email newsletter for hiking news, events, gear reviews and more.

What's Happening
Trails and Ales - Spokane 2014 Apr 22, 2014 Meet fellow hikers and raise a glass for trails!
GiveBIG 2014 May 06, 2014 Donate to WTA during The Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG event and grow your impact on trails!
Hiker Potluck in Vancouver May 28, 2014 Come out for an evening of great food, meet other hikers and learn what is happening on trails near you.
More »