Area Status: Closed
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 Johnston Ridge Observatory 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 out the annual summer Music on the Mountain series held throughout summer at the Johnston Ridge Observatory 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!
To 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. View a general map. 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 Mount St Helens office for information on where it is safe and legal to bring your pets.
Accessible Adventures Video
At a Glance
||1/13/2017: Closed for the winter. State Route 504 is closed just past Coldwater Lake. Will reopen May, 2017. A $8 fee for adults, children 15 & younger free. America the Beautiful passes accepted.
||Closed November through mid-May.
||Castle Rock, WA or Toutle, WA
||Yes during open hours
||Per person site: Accepts annual/lifetime recreation passes or $8 day-use fee only. Children ages 15 and under have free admission.
||Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument Headquarters and Visitor Centers See also: West Side: State Highway 504
From Castle Rock, WA take State Route 504 east for 52 miles to Johnston Ridge Observatory at the end of State Route 504.
The center has accessible parking, facilities, and trails. This is a great place for all visitors to enjoy what the monument has to offer.