Johnston Ridge Observatory

Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed
 

Johnston Ridge Observatory:
Mount St. Helen's Crowning Jewel

Located at the end of State Highway 504 (52 miles east of Castle Rock), in the heart of the blast zone, the observatory hosts interpretive displays that tell the biological, geological, and human story of Mount St. Helens.  Visitors to JRO can enjoy multiple award-winning films, listen to ranger talks, observe the landscape, purchase souvenirs, set off on a hike, or get a light lunch from the food cart.  Check the MSH hompage for information on the annual summer Music on the Mountain series held throughout summer at the JRO outdoor amphitheater (in partnership with the Cowlitz County Economic Development Council and the Mount St. Helens Institute).

Take Care of Your Pet and Help Protect the Monument

A Big Brown Dog on the MonumentTo protect plant and animal life and provide for visitor safety, pets are prohibited at all recreation sites and trails within the Monument’s restricted area (yellow shaded section of map available on the Maps and Publications page of this site). Pets are permitted only in designated pet areas and must be on a leash. Lack of shade and summer heat can endanger pets left in cars. For the safety and comfort of your pet, please arrange to leave your pet at home. Contact any Forest Service office for information on where it is safe and legal to bring your pets.

Accessible Adventures Video

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 04/15/2014: Johnston Ridge Observatory will re-open May 10, 2014.
Operational Hours: 10 a.m.-6p.m. daily
May 10, 2014-Oct. 26, 2014
Fees $8/person/day
Open Season: May 10, 2014
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Closest Towns: Castle Rock, WA - Toutle, WA
Water: Potable Water
Restroom: Yes during open hours
Passes: Per person site: Accepts annual/lifetime recreation passes or $8 day-use fee only. Children ages 15 and under have free admission.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument Headquarters and Visitor Centers   See also:  West Side – State Highway 504

General Information

Directions:

From I-5 take exit 49 in Castle Rock and head east.  Johnston Ridge Observatory is located 54 miles east of Castle Rock, at the end of State Highway 504.


Accessibility:

The center has accessible parking, facilities, and trails. This is a great place for all visitors to enjoy what the monument has to offer.


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

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Activities


Hiking

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Nature Viewing

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Outdoor Learning

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