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Destination guides > North America > USA > West Coast > Washington > Mount St Helens

Mount St Helens

Mount St Helens made headlines around the world on 18 May 1980 when it erupted sending ash 27km into the air and killing 57 people and almost 2 million animals. The park features several interesting visitors’ centres with displays about the eruption. The best view of the volcano’s crater is from Johnston Ridge Observatory.


Fees are charged for many of the more interesting areas and it is a good idea to buy a one-day access pass for $8 rather than pay $3 every time you want to look at displays at a visitors centre.

Practical information

Mount St Helens Visitors Center

Route 504, Mount St Helens
Tel (360) 274 2100
Website www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/04mshnvm/attractions/msh-visitor-center.shtml
Open 9am-6pm daily

Coldwater Ridge Visitors Center

Route 504, Mount St Helens
Tel (360) 274 2131
Website www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/04mshnvm/attractions/coldwater-ridge.shtml
Open 10am-6pm daily

Johnson Ridge Observatory

24000 Spirit Lake Highway, Mount St Helens
Tel (360) 274 2140

Website www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/04mshnvm/attractions/johnston-ridge.shtml
Open May-Oct 10am-6pm daily


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