Mount St. Helens area

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Experience Mount St Helens Recreation Opportunities Map


West and North side via State Highway 504

The massive landslide and blast of the 1980 eruption traveled north and west from the mountain. Visitor centers and trails let visitors explore the rebirth.


View From Johnston Ridge Observatory View From Johnston Ridge Observatory



East side via National Forest Roads 25 and 99

This more remote side of the mountain illustrates the stark line between old growth forest and the Blast Zone. Provides the closest view of the crater accessible by car.

Norway Pass Over Spirit Lake
View from Norway Pass, overlooking Spirit Lake


South side via State Route 503 and Forest Roads 90 and 83

Much of the south side forest was untouched in the 1980 eruption. This is the place for winter recreation, climbing and more.

Plains of Abraham overlooking Ape Canyon
Plains of Abraham overlooking Ape Canyon


Explore Mount Margaret Backcountry

This special area has 5,000' jagged peaks home to mountain goats, elk and a multitude of wildlife. You must obtain a permit to backpack in the Mount Margaret Backcountry.

Lakes Trail 211 overlooking Panhandle Lake in the Mt. Margaret Backcountry
Lakes Trail 211 overlooking Panhandle Lake in the Mount Margaret Backcountry

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 02/13/2017: Highway 504 to Johnston Ridge Observatory gated for the winter at mile post 45, just beyond Coldwater Lake. Coldwater Science and Learning Center lies before the closure, and is open weekends, 10 am to 4 pm. Forest Road 83 has been plowed to Marble Mountain Sno-Park, but remains snow and ice covered. Traction tires and chains recommended.
Operational Hours:
  • Coldwater Science and Learing Center on Highway 504 open 10am to 4pm, Sat. and Sun.
  • Johnston Ridge Observatory on Highway 504 is closed for winter season until mid-May.
  • Cascade Peaks Interpretive Station, Pine Creek Information Station and Ape's Headquarters are closed for the winter
  • Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument Headquarters office in Amboy, WA is open Monday - Friday, 8:00am to 4:00pm, except federal holidays.  We do not have a view of the mountain, and are not a Visitor Center, but offer information, maps, permits and passes. Commercial Forest Product Permits (i.e. mushrooms, beargrass, salal, huckleberry) are sold at the Amboy office from 8:00 AM to 3:45PM.
Information Center: 2/06/2017: Coldwater Science and Learning Center on Highway 504 is open to the public weekends only, 10 am to 4 pm. Johnston Ridge Observatory is closed for winter season. Washington State's Mount St. Helens Visitor Center at milepost 5 on Highway 504 is open Thurs-Monday, 9am to 4 pm.  Call Monument Headquarters for more information at (360) 449-7800.



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Camping & Cabins

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Other Activities

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