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Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Open today: 06:00 - 22:00
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Review Highlights
Gorgeous September day

Johnston Ridge Observatory was closed but the Mountain was out in all of her glory. A beautiful day... read more

Reviewed 7 September 2020
Roxie12chick
,
Olympia, Washington
via mobile
Worth the long drive

Located about 40 miles east of the visitor center on winding roads, this is the only way to and... read more

Reviewed 28 February 2020
StevoinMinnesoto
,
Cottage Grove, Minnesota
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Reviewed 15 October 2019

As a retired science type, I love these kinds of things. What I am not enthralled with is crowds. These places are usually loved to death so I try to avoid peak times. Mid-afternoon, midweek, mid-August it wasn’t too crowded by their standards. It was for mine. For the first time visitor a good understanding of the event is available if they’ll take a few minutes & read the displays. Most definitely watch the videos. Being one who tried to survey the area immediately after the eruption (couldn’t, the freeways were closed from Redding north due to ash), but has visited multiple times, starting with before any visitors’ center was constructed, I am still in awe of how little we do truly understand about God’s handiwork - in spite of what my fellow science types would profess.

Date of experience: August 2019
Thank lesj835
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2019

We drove into the monument from I-5 on the west side (there are other entrances.) You will drive about 28 miles to get to the meat of the exhibits. One website I found strongly advised stopping at the Forest Education Center about halfway up. We did, but this is NOT much about the volcano. It's a Weyerhauser-sponsored PR exhibit explaining its forest practices. If you have a lot of time and interest in their reforestation efforts, do this. But, you really, really want to go all the way up to the Johnston Observatory. The exhibits are terrific. The video they show is a bit full of trendy edits that can be disjointed and annoying, but it's still worth seeing. You will get a clear idea of just how devastating and powerful the 1980 eruption of this active volcano really was. And you'll be fascinated by the ongoing monitoring. You will walk away with a newfound respect for the scientists who study volcanoes and an even deeper respect for the power of our planet. You will see fascinating survivor stories from people who were on the mountain the day of the eruption. And if you're lucky enough to arrive on a clear day, there are a number of viewing stations where you can see the volcano and the new dome(s) it is building. It can be windy and cool up there, even in summer, so dress accordingly. Plan at least an hour or more!

Date of experience: September 2019
Thank Arlethea M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC