Skip to Main Content

Mount St. Helens
Mountain Bike Trail Guide

The mountain biking near Mount St. Helens is famous for the moon-like riding on the Plains of Abraham trail, however, there are a handful over other really fun trails, too, making the area an awesome mountain bike destination. In addition to riding in the pumice filled volcano blast zone there are some great trails that trace the beautiful rivers in the Mount St. Helens region. Both these river trails and the totally unique Plains of Abraham are awesome and adventurous mountain bike trails. Wondering where to mountain bike near Mount St. Helens? Keep reading to check out the best trails and rides.
 Total  Trails20 Difficulty Intermediate, Advanced
 Total Distance 26 miles Style XC, River Trail, Epic

Popular Trails & Map

Mt. Saint Helens on
powered by

evo's Favorite Trails

Ape Canyon to Plains of Abraham to Truman Trail
Intermediate | 10 Miles (one way) | 3,019' Climb (South to North)| 1,835' Descent

Ape Canyon starts off this amazing ride by climbing smooth switchbacks through the forest. The trail steadily gains just over 2,000’ of elevation as it rises towards the blast zone of Mount St. Helens. Towards the top of the climb, the trail emerges from the woods to the desolate pumice landscape where the 1980 eruption killed all vegetation. Continuing onto the plains of Abraham feels almost alien riding in this dead zone, it’s unique and way cool. The Truman trail then runs along foothills ridges toward Spirit Lake. The Plains of Abraham can be ridden as a one way out and back starting at Ape Canyon, shuttled from NF-99 starting on the Truman Trail to take away much of the climbing, or it can be looped with the Smith Creek Trail for a 26 mile epic. The Smith Creek Trail is gnarly, exposed, and can be hard to follow in places. There is no shade, and long falls are possible on narrow ridgetops. The trail ends with a 1,300’ climb back to the Ape Canyon trailhead.  

Lewis River Trail
Intermediate | 10.3 Miles (one way) | 3,023' Climb (South to North)| 2,726' Descent 

The Lewis River Trail is a classic mountain bike river trail, winding up and down with the Lewis River. There are more popular river trails in the Northwest, however, the Lewis River Trail holds its own with great shady buff trail riding with nice scenery. The trail makes its way up the river, rolling up and down, with a few punchy climbs. The Lewis River Trail can be ridden as an out-and-back, shuttled, or the paved NF-90 runs parallel allowing mountain bikers to bail if they don’t want to ride a full 22 miles of trail.
Our Favorite Mountain Bike Bags for Mount St. Helens
View All

How to Get to the Mount St. Helens Bike Trails: Parking & Directions

To get to the Ape Canyon Trailhead from Lewis River Road in the town of Cougar, continue east about three miles past the point where the road becomes NF-90, turning left onto NF-83. Ape Canyon Trailhead will be about 11 miles down this road shortly after a large riverbed. For the Lewis River Trail, simply stay on NF-90 for about 16 miles the road changes names from Lewis River Road. There is a National Forest Campground available at Lewis River Falls.
Our Favorite Bikes for Mount St. Helens

Typical Weather & Riding Conditions

The typical mountain bike riding season at Mount St. Helens is from June through October. There can be snow in areas depending on how much snow falls during the winter. Once the Ape Canyon trail emerges from the forest there is no shade. The climb is taxing as well, so be prepared for hot and sunny riding with no water on the trail. The Lewis River Trail is mostly shady and buff.

Explore More Mountain Biking Trails