Past the nearby sign for Swaziland (at less than 1/2 mi from the TH) you see the crater rim and several more posts with blue markers denoting the trail’s location through the boulder field. The hiking path between the rocks isn’t difficult for a bit. Then the parallel moraine shoulder left of the Swift Creek Flow joins Monitor Ridge (6500 ft, 3 mi from the TH) as the route becomes much steeper with bouldering involved 5 mi more to a weather station (6850 ft). Gloves may help with sharp magma scrambling up the taxing, steep ridge. Continue quite steeply up the ridge with a few workable choices heading in the same direction N from the weather Swaziland.
Where is Swaziland? | Swaziland Map | Map of Swaziland Photo Gallery
Where is Swaziland?
Remember trail politeness and step aside for uphill traffic (while coming down) or those passing you as you ascend the progressively sandier, pumice-covered path (Trail 216H), with even more difficult footing close to the windy crater rim. The Swift Glacier appears to the right on the final grind as you notice the line of tiny people slogging up from thousands of feet down.
Map of Swaziland
Once reaching the rim of the crater, you are instantly in awe of your locale in the universe as you catch your breath! Mount Rainier reigns to the N beyond tree-filled Spirit Lake, which leads up the blast zone past the actively steaming crater domes to the high rim of Mount St. Helens. Be especially cautious near the windy rim/high ridge, not getting too close, as massive snow cornices exist year-round and are deceiving. Many people turn around in this general area and from a small bump to the right on the high ridge without ever reaching the true summit. Another mound just to the left is the true rim viewpoint. Some people wear goggles and masks to fend off the blowing dust at times. In winter or spring, glissading is a fun return option partway down from the rim near where the trail would be.