Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Johnston Ridge Observatory

The Johnston Ridge Observatory sits on a bluff just 5-1/2 miles from the crater at an elevation of 4,314'/1,327m and offers grand views of Mount St. Helens and much of the 1980 blast zone. This visitor center is the closest you can get to the mountain by car when driving in from the west and is located 53 miles east of the town of Castle Rock at the end of State Route 504.

Here you can enjoy spectacular views of the lava dome, crater, pumice plain and the landslide deposit.

A wide-screen theater presentation and interpretive displays depict the sequence of geologic events that changed the landscape. The video is a "must see". Be sure to stay for the curtain finale!

Discover the art and science of monitoring an active volcano and predicting eruptions through various displays and also read eye witness accounts from eruption survivors.

The visitor center is open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM May through October. Closed in winter. A Monument Pass is required and can be obtained at the center.

Ample parking also can accommodate large motor homes.

A number of hiking trails let you explore, enjoy and expand your experience of the area.

Pets are not allowed at viewpoints or on trails.

A Monument Pass is required, and you can pick one up in the visitor center.

The Johnston Ridge Observatory is operated by the USDA Forest Service. For more information you can call 360-274-2140.

Contact Information

Johnston Ridge Observatory. 21500 Spirit Lake Highway, Toutle, WA 98649. Phone: 360-274-2143.

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